The Internet is buzzing with suggestions that Google is about to unveil a new social networking platform called Google Circles, despite those reported to be close to the project denying that such a service exists.

Whether or not Google Circles does manifest itself at Google I/O, the company is independently working to make its various websites and services more social, pushing updates to Google Profiles, making its toolbars more visible and easier to navigate.

We came across a topic on Google’s Profile help articles that illustrates just how hard the search giant is working to encourage interaction via its properties, indicating that anyone with a Google Profile that has been marked “Private” will be deleted after July 31.

It reads:

The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.

Keep in mind that your full name is the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share.

If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.

Given the huge amount of interest in a Google social network, it would be easy to suggest that Google wants its users to connect and find each other because it is going to roll-out a platform thrive on Google contacts “connecting” later in the year.

The help article says that if a user doesn’t want to share information, they can remove it from their profile, but to remain open it must be set to “Public” or risk deletion.

We believe Google has deployed ‘smoke and mirrors’, remaining quiet at a time when speculation is rife but is quietly moving all of the necessary parts of its service into place. Evidence suggests Google is going to make a major social play, it’s just unclear how the company will go about it.