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Changes to Google Search

Google recently announced two significant changes in the way it handles search results.

Real Time Updates
Google said it would begin supplementing its search results with the updates posted second-by-second to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace.   Google users will begin seeing brand-new tweets, blog items, news articles, and social networking updates in results for certain topical searches.   Previously it took some minutes for updates from social networks and blogs to filter into Google’s results.   Watch the demo video

Personalized Search Results
In addition, Google has expanded its personalized search results so that now, ALL searchers will have their searches tracked and results customized.   Previously, this only applied to individuals who were signed into their Google accounts, but from now on it will be the default for every user, whether signed in or not.   Of course, Google still allows you to opt out, but that requires you to be proactive.

This development means that individuals who use the same computer regularly will find their search results becoming more and more tailored over time to target their interests.    It will be less effective for public computers like the Scott Library’s, where many different people may search on any given day.

Is this a good thing or not?  Read Google’s blog post about the new service, and read a critique of it by Danny Sullivan, noted search authority.

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