Feb 23, 2011 113 readsby Navneet Kaushal

Google has updated its Social Search, which was launched in 2009. It is now incorporating information from social sites including Twitter, Flickr and Quora in its search engine. With this update in action, you can get the search results from your friends who are on Twitter, Flickr and Quora, when you run a search on Google.

The Social Search feature was previously in Google Labs. It searches for results relevant to your query in your Google contacts list and display them at the bottom of the search window. Just like a normal search, it returns images, posts, blogs or links which the people in your social network have posted that is relevant to your search topic.

“If you’re thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience, then we’ll bump up that post with a note and a picture:”

If you run a search while you are signed in, and someone you are connected (listed in your contacts) to has publicly shared a link, Social Search will show that link in your search results with a clear annotation.

“For example, if you’re looking for a video of President Obama on “The Daily Show” and your friend Nundu tweeted the video, that result might show up higher in your results and you’ll see a note with a picture of Nundu:”

Incorporating these social sites' (Twitter, Flickr and Quora) information now means that the search results form people in your social networks will appear on the page, every time you run a search on Google. Hence, the appearance and function of the search engine will change. This could be seen as both advantageous or otherwise too. It gives you search results from people you know and trust while at the same time you might have to go through a lot of information to get to the most useful one.

However, users now certainly have more options and controls while connecting a public network to Google. You can now either connect publicly or be more discreet and use the private option according to your preference. The update also has a feature that suggests networks that might interest you, based on the people on your contact list and the sites they are on.

At first look it might seem surprising why Google has not roped in Facebook despite being one of the most widely used social site. The reason behind this is because Facebook is contracted with Bing, Google's top rival. This new update is a big move by Google, and it would be interesting to see how it impacts online search.

Here's a video explaining Google Social Search and the new features.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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