Google Profiles Become More Prominent

Back in 2007, Google released the first incarnation of the Google Profile. Back then the functionality was quite limited but it served a clear purpose – Google were looking to consolidate down all of the profile data that users had entered into the various Google services into a single location.

During 2009, Google Profiles received an upgrade which allowed users to choose a Google Profile vanity URL for their profile in lieu of a number which provided no context. In addition, Google stated that Google Profiles would begin showing up at the bottom of search results for searches they identified as a name.

Fast forward to 2011 and Google are at it again with another user interface overhaul in March. In addition to that, not only do Google Profiles show up in standard web search and not just at the bottom of a page now, they are displayed prominently using a Google OneBox if a user is logged in to their Google Account.

The following two images show what I see currently when searching for my name, logged in first and subsequently logged out of my Google Account. As you can see, when logged in I’m presented with my Google Profile first, ¬†which until today would have displayed my personal blog.

Google search for a name showing a Google Profile OneBox when user is signed in
Google search for a name showing a Google Profile OneBox when user is signed in

 

Google search results for a name when a user isn't signed in
Google search results for a name when a user isn’t signed in