Google's social network is quietly adding more advanced search options, including the ability to filter results by poster and browse through trending topics. These features allow users to hunt down popular topics and get involved in conversations.
The New Tools
Whenever users conduct a search, a new box on the right side will provide a list of currently trending topics. As of this writing, the topics of "Breaking Dawn" (the new Twilight movie), "Green Bay Packers" (the football team), and "Sidney Crosby" (a Canadian hockey player) top the list. You can click on any of the results to be directed to a search for the trending term.
Further, users can narrow down their results through new filters at the top of the results page. You can easily narrow both the content type and the content source; a new filter lets you search through all results, results from those in your circles, or even just the content you've posted yourself.
These tools only show up once you've already conducted a search. However, as noted by The Next Web, many users are "asking for Google+ to add the Trends results to the main page."
Additionally, some users "are saying that this is the death of Twitter, at least for their own use." Even if the new utilities don't mean the final death knell for Twitter, there's little doubt that these tools combine with the recently introduced hashtags to step into Twitter's established territory.
For many standard users, the tools have a much more narrow use: the ability to find a topic of interest to you and get involved in a conversation. While SEOs may see more information-driven capabilities, the trend box itself is likely aimed at stirring conversation and generating more content on Plus.
Are you likely to make use of thew new trending topics? What ways do you think SEOs and social media optimizers should be taking advantage of the data? What can Google do to make the tools more useful to you? Leave us your thoughts in the comments, below.