Two great new Google+ features: real-time search and hashtag support

A couple of great new Google+ features were released today.

Real-time search

When you search for something, the results page will notify you of new results while you’re on it.  If you choose to display them, then the screen will automatically scroll as additional results come in.  As Vic mentions in the video below, this is a great feature when watching a TV show, following a sporting event, etc.

Improved support for hashtags

While Google still doesn’t recognize the hash symbol in search results (a search for “#tips” will return posts with “tips” or ”#tips”), but now those hashtags are automatically linked in your posts.

Check out the video below for a quick tour of the new features.

A first peek at the Google+ search engine

Just launched a few days ago, the Google+ search engine is pretty slick.  However, we wanted to see if we could get any insight into how it actually worked, so we ran some basic tests on it.

The bottom line was to be expected: the top results come from recent posts, from people in your circles, that have your search keywords in the body of their post.  However, discovered a lot of little nuggets regarding keywords in comments, people in your circles leaving comments, and things of that nature.

Building a search system for a site as complex as Google+ had to be a chore, but now we know at least a little about how things get sorted.

Check out the full post here and let us know what you think.

A ton of new updates

Google has just pushed out a slew of huge new updates to Google+.  They include:

  • No more invitations.  Anyone 18+ is free to join.
  • New Hangouts.  Now with screen sharing, Doc sharing and more.
  • Hangouts can be broadcast.  Go “on air” with your handout, and others can watch even if it’s too full for them to access.
  • Mobile hangouts.  Android devices with front-facing cameras can join hangouts now; and they work very well!
  • Huddle is now called “Messenger”.  In addition, you can share photos through it now.
  • Search!  You can finally search Google+.
More is coming, but those are some sweet features.  Full details on the Official Google Blog.  What’s your favorite new addition?

How to search inside of Google+

One of the surprising things about Google+ is that there’s no search box.  You can search for people, but you can’t search for content of any kind.  It’s expected that Google is working on a pretty sweet search feature, likely combining elements of #hashtags in it, but no one knows for sure.

Fortunately, you can use the main Google search engine to look for items inside of Google+.  Here are a few examples provided by Szabolcs Feczak:

  • site:plus.google.com Post by Firstname Lastname keyword
  • site:plus.google.com inurl:posts/* keyword

Not all of the public posts are indexed yet, but it’s a great place to start.  Hopefully a proper search feature will be added soon.