You've probably noticed that when you search for human recommendations, whether that's the best SUV, the best guitar or the best solvent to get blood out of your favourite rug, the best answers often come from sites such as Reddit, Quora or subject-specific forums.
Google's noticed that too, and it's announced improvements to search that'll take you to that information more quickly. The new Discussions and Forums feature, which is rolling out in the US this week, will automatically pull forum results into your search results where appropriate. It may be a bit clunky at first, but it's a welcome improvement that should become more refined the more people use it.
It's part of a whole series of improvements coming to Google search on all your devices. Another clever feature is automatic machine translation to give you the most relevant news content irrespective of what language it's in – so for example if you're interested in the Mexican earthquake but don't speak Spanish, Google will translate and show you stories from Mexican news sources. For now it's only for French, German and Spanish, but more languages will be added over time.
One of the most interesting features is a very particular kind of search: Google is going to make it easier to find online information about you.
See what Google knows about you
Google's new "Results about you" feature started rolling out yesterday, 28 September, in Europe and the US. If you have it, you should now see a "results about you" menu item in the Profile section of your Google app.
Announced back in May, Google will enable alerts to let you know if personal information about you is appearing online, with categories including personal contact information, contact information shared with intent to harm, illegal information and out-of-date information. Once identified, you'll be able to ask Google to remove it.
Google can't remove the data from the internet – for that you'll need to contact whoever hosts it – but removing it from search results makes a huge difference to its availability, so this is a very welcome new feature for anybody who has reason to worry about their information being shared online.