Complete Guide to Google Plus Search

Posted by Prashant on September 21, 2011 in Google,Google+,How To


Google Plus has advanced from field trial to Beta trial and to mark it, Google Plus has added so many new features to its social networking site. One of the most wanted features by Google+ users was Google+ search. Though you could search public Google Plus posts and profile using Google search too but an inbuilt search feature was long awaited and requested by many tech journalists and top bloggers. Using Google+ Search now users can search for public/limited posts, people, sparks results and can also filter the results based on relevance and timeliness. Google Plus also allows its users to save the search query to get updated results in future.

Whether you are a new or existing Google Plus users, this “Complete Guide to Google Plus Search” will help you in getting acquainted with search on Google Plus and utilize it to the full extent.

What is Google+ Search?


Google+ Search allows users to search for any string on Google Plus and web. Search results will be a combination of the Google+ Posts which includes public posts and the posts shared with you, People which shows results from people suggestions and Sparks which shows the trending results from the web related to your search. For better understanding, lets start by performing a search on Google+.

Google+ Search box is located at the top of Google+ as shown in the below image. In this search box when you type a query, Google+ will show you auto-complete suggestions to choose from or you can complete your search query and press Enter to see your full search stream.

search Google+

When I searched for “Larry Page“, Google+ instantly showed me the suggestions related to my search string. You can use up/down arrow to scroll through the auto complete list and click on any of these suggestions to view the result.

autofill search

Once you hit enter you will be shown combined results from Google+ Public posts and posts shared with you. It is quite possible that 2 people can get different results for a same search query because of different circles and different shared posts. You will not only see posts from your circles but also results from public posts of someone who is not even in your circles. The reason for this is that whatever you share publicly on Google Plus remains searchable by any search engine and is available for the world even if you have disabled search of your profile.

google plus search results

How to Filter Google Plus Search Results?


Now as you know that your Google Plus search results are a combination of results from your Google+ posts, people suggestions and Sparks, so you can filter your search results based on these 3 filters.

People: If you click on People then your search results will be filtered by people and you’ll be shown suggestions for Google Plus users. You will also be shown some information about the people in search results. for e.g. For search query “Larry Page”, check mark next to first result shows that it’s a Google+ verified account and the green colored rectangle shows that Larry Page is added in my circle named “Following“. If you want you can add other people by hovering your mouse over “Add to circles” and then clicking the check box next to the circle name.

People Search

Google+ Posts: Clicking on Google+ posts will filter your search results to show only the results from posts on Google Plus posts. These posts could be public posts by anyone on Google+ and/or limited posts from your circles which are shared with you. Just next to post date you’ll see the sharing level of post i.e. ‘Public‘ or ‘Limited‘.

Search in google plus posts

Sparks: Sparks shows the trending results from the web related to your search query. In field trial of Google Plus, sparks was available in the left hand side menu under Streams section but now it has been integrated with Google+ search as a filter.

Sparks results

Although Google+ doesn’t provide any option to save your sparks results but here is a trick to save or bookmark your sparks results.

Filter search according to Relevance or Timeliness

If you noticed in screenshots above that for results shown for filters have 2 options i.e. “Best of” and “Most Recent“. As the name suggests ‘Best of’ will show you the best results related to the search query whereas ‘Most Recent’ will show results for latest update on search query.

“Best of”

Best of google+posts

“Most Recent”

Most recent in google plus Search

How to save Google Plus searches?


Google Plus also allows you to share you Google Plus search query as an interest. Are you wondering what does that mean? Consider you have an interest in ‘Football’ and have searched for it in Google+. After you are done searching, you can save the search as an interest so next time onwards you just need to click the saved query to get the latest updates on your interest.

Save google plus Search

Saved searchesThese saved searches will appear in the left hand menu of your Google+ window and you can directly click on any of your saved interest to get the Google+ search results instantaneously.

How to share Google Plus Search Results?


Google Plus Search results can easily be shared with your circles on Google+ or with anyone on the web too. To share the results with Google Plus circle,

  • Just click ‘Share’ button on the result and select the circle you want to share it with. Remember a post which was shared with limited no. of people initially can’t be made public.
  • You can also do a +1 for the post so that if someone in your circles will do the search for similar query, he/she will be shown your recommendations.

Sharing Search results using URL

You can directly share the URL(e.g. ) of the search query with anyone whether he/she has a Google+ account or not. Search results for those 2 users can still be different.

URL shared with someone having a Google+ account: It will act as a normal Google Plus search for them and they will be able to see the public posts as well as related posts shared with them on Google+.

URL shared with someone NOT having a Google+ account: Anyone not logged into Google+ can still the see search results for the query but the results shown will be only from posts which are publicly shared.

Don’t forget to visit my profile on Google+ and add me & +Apurva Tripathi to your circles on Google+ for similar Google+ tips and other amazing stuff.

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