Google will start to populate individual users’ search results with posts that have been shared publicly by their connections on Google+. The new feature, which works only when users are signed in to their Google accounts, aims to tailor results to individual tastes.
The idea is if a user posts a note on Google+ about a link – be it to a restaurant’s Web site, a news story, or a retail store’s site – their Google+ connections are going to be more likely to want to see that site as well.
Microsoft’s Bing rolled out a similar feature that elevates results that have received a “like” from a friend on Facebook. Bing’s implementation requires users to be logged in to Facebook.
For both Google and Microsoft, the idea is to mimic the real world, where people often rely on friends for advice before making decisions about products, restaurants, hotels, and more.