Creating searches is easy; everyone who’s ever used Google knows how to do that. Just head up to the big bar with the faint “Search Google+” text, enter your search terms, hit Enter, and … that’s about it!
Of course there can be more to it than that if you wish.
- You can enclose terms in quotes; searching for apple butter as two search terms or “apple butter” as a single phrase will probably return different results.
- You can exclude terms; searching for apple butter -sauce will exclude results that refer to apple sauce or any other sauce.
- I could write a whole post on different ways to modify searches, but instead, I’ll share Google’s own guide with you.
Viewing Search Results
As the name implies, the Everything tab returns all results of all types.
The People tab searches only for Google+ accounts. People with names matching your search terms will be listed.
Google apparently has some sort of algorithm at work determining the most relevant people to show you when you conduct people searches. It’s difficult at this early point to figure out how they’re going about it or what criteria they use. Maybe when Google+ loses the beta tag more information will be available. Until then I can only recommend experimentation. I’ve heard it said that Google+’s greatest strength as a social media platform is that it’s a destination for passions, so this seems like a good way to find people who share your passions and connect with them.
Of course privacy rules apply; if you block someone, they won’t be able to locate you this way.
You’ve got quick access to view the profile of people who show up in the search results, or you can add them to your Circles directly.
The Google+ Posts tab enables you to search for Google+ posts you’re able to read. This means any Google+ users’ Public posts, or posts that have been shared to you directly or indirectly.
Results can be sorted by Best of (the default), or Most Recent. Most recent, of course, shows you the most recent results first. Like the People search function, “best of” is determined algorithmically. Also like the People searches, this is a great way to find people you’d like to connect with on G+.
You have the ability to +1 or Share any post directly from the search results page.
The Sparks tab works like the Google+ Posts searches, but returns results from out on the web instead of in Google+ itself. It is much like the older Google+ Sparks feature; it returns results with a heavy emphasis on the most recent, relevant news about the search terms.
If you were to search for Star Wars and look at the Sparks results, you’re more likely to find recent reviews of Star Wars: Clone Wars episodes and the Blu-Ray release of the movies than to find links to the Star Wars website or Wikipedia entries. Those have mostly static content, and Sparks are all about what’s happening now.
Like Google+ Posts results, Sparks results can be sorted by Best of or Most recent, and you can +1 them or Share them.
If there are topics that you’re likely to want to search for often, you can save them using the “Save this search” button.
This creates a list on the left of your main Streams screen with saved searches marked with an hourglass icon.
Clicking a saved search will not take you back to the same page of results you saw when you originally created the search; it runs the search again.
This means the results may be quite different than they first were if any significant time has passed, or if it’s a subject with a lot of news coverage.