A few years ago Google for the first time introduced images in to the search results. And not just images, images of people you personally knew. Personalised search had been around for a while (in 2009 it became default) and Google then still had the deal with Twitter which allowed them to see which of your friend had tweeted about a specific article.
When the deal with Twitter went bust Google had nothing left but their Google+-1s and whether or not something was shared on that platform. Thus the images were now not of tweets but of Google Shares. When Google extended their personalised results with Search Plus Your World last year the images were even expanded to the top of the search results page showing some of the faces of the people who were responsible for the personalised results. Now those images seem to have disappeared. (more…)