A few weeks ago Google put out a major revision to Google Search in an update dubbed ""Search, plus Your World"":http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/search-plus-your-world.html. I definitely feel many people are still confused by all of this and are unable to comprehend what exactly is going on.
When thinking about Google, the first thing you need to do is change your perspective. Just remember that you, the end user, are the product being sold and the real customers are the "advertisers":http://www.wordstream.com/articles/google-earnings. In any business, your real paying customers take priority over your users. It's difficult to fathom and adjust to because we have become accustomed to the easier mental transaction that being an end user means that we are the customer. Just keep repeating the message to yourself, "I am not the customer" and breathe.
With that in mind, recall that Google+ is an "all out attempt":http://www.businessinsider.com/larry-page-just-tied-employee-bonuses-to-the-success-of-the-googles-social-strategy-2011-4 to catch up to Facebook in social networking. To simplify the relationship, Google+ aims to capture your personal profile so that advertising can be specifically directed towards you better which is what advertisers absolutely love.
Make no mistake, this all came about because of Facebook. Facebook's official financial numbers will be out soon as they are "filing for an IPO":http://julianyap.com/2012/01/27/facebook-readies-ipo-filing-for-next-week.html but "rumored numbers":https://twitter.com/#!/JBoorstin/status/162991012137009152 place their 2011 revenue around $3.8 Billion.
Facebook and "Twitter":http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-31/twitter-ad-sales-to-rise-to-540-million-in-2014-emarketer-says.html pose significant threats and competition to Google's advertising business model and Google realized this late in the game which is why they have so aggressively pushed Google+ to the forefront of Google Search.
According to recent "comScore numbers":http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203920204577193361056850828.html, Facebook is absolutely killing it in the online display-advertising market with a 27.9% share.
Julia Boorstin for CNBC on "why Facebook is winning":http://www.cnbc.com/id/46192691:
First, there’s the ability to target ads very narrowly using personal information from user profiles and information about how people spend their time on the service. There’s also the fact that Facebook offers a rare opportunity to connect with self-professed fans, who are far more open to marketing messages than a run-of-the mill web-surfers.
In conclusion, Google+ and "Search, plus Your World" isn't about making the web or search better. It's making directed advertising better.