Yesterday Google announced that it’s search results would now incorporate much more information from your friends and colleagues across your social networks. Although Google remains by far and away the most dominant search engine in the UK this move comes as we are increasingly looking to our social networks for advise and validation.
“Relevance isn’t just about pages — it’s also about relationships,” Mike Cassidy, a Google product management director, and Matthew Kulick, a product manager, wrote in a Google company blog post this week as they discussed the new functionality.
Google has had a version of social search since 2009 but only a small percentage of people used it. Now, they’re enabling you to get even more information from the people that matter to you, whether they’re publishing on YouTube, Flickr or their own blog or website.
If you decide to switch social search on then these search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance, results (so only if you’re logged in to your Google account and have connected your social networking accounts). The results will also be more comprehensive and will add notes for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites. Google have also given you more control over how you connect accounts, and made connecting accounts more convenient by added a new option to connect accounts privately via your Google Account.
But how relevant is this move when Facebook results will be excluded? The company blog post says social results will appear only “if someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link.” As we know, Facebook posts are generally private, and Facebook in the past has made it almost impossible for Google to import social information.
So, thank you Google a nice move but how many people will bother to use this when by far the biggest social network isn’t taking part? We’ll wait and see.
To read the full blog post: