Google took another step to fully integrating its social network (do I need to remind anyone it's called Google+?) into search today with the new feature, "Search Across Your World."
Yeah, not the most catchy name I've ever heard, but it certainly goes a long way toward integrating social media into search. At least as far as your Google+ network is concerned.
First, you need to be signed into your Google+ account to make it work. Once you're signed in your search will include anything and anyone in your Google+ network along with relevant search results.
There's only one problem: The odds are, given how new Google+ is, your network of friends, or Circles (which is what "Search Across Your World" mines for information) is probably not nearly as large as your other social media networks, like Facebook. This puts a serious limit on just how much information you receive when you use it. It's also a good reason to begin focusing on expanding your Google+ network; adding to your Circles, posting more information, +1'ing more articles and Sharing what you find interesting.
In essence, this new search function makes Google+ more meaningful, more relevant, than any other social network, simply because it has more use to you. If your network is small then your search results will be limited, so there is now a better purpose to growing your Google+ network than "just because."
I have written several times about the eventual complete integration of all Google tools with Google+, meaning that even if it grows slowly, eventually everyone who uses Google tools will become a member. By fully integrating a search function Google has perhaps sped the process of attracting new members by making Google+ more useful ; something other than a social network.
I expect word of this new search feature to spread slowly, meaning I don't expect a surge in Google+ users as a result, but I do think this is another step forward for Google. One which is likely to bring it that much closer to social media domination.