Google Unveils Social Search

Published October 28, 2009 8:45 am by LoSasso
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This week Google reps revealed the latest development in their search portfolio — social search. This latest feature displays social search results at the bottom of the search results page.

Users can access this feature in the Google Labs section of their Google account. Once activated, Google pulls their social circle from their Google profile. The results display relevant data retrieved real-time from their social networks.

When designing the feature, Google was careful to protect users’ rights – they will only pull information users’ choose to include on their Google profile. Google gives users the option to individually add the social networks they want included in their profiles and thus their social search.

Right now, Google has a contract to include Twitter posts in the social search results, but I wouldn’t be surprised if additional social networking platforms will follow in coming months.

Social Search Result:

Social Search Result from the Query "Chicago Marketing"

Social Search Result from the Query “Chicago Marketing”

Google results also allow users to see how they are connected to the social search results. For example, I did a social search for “Chicago Marketing” and the first result to appear is jslchicago – connected to his Twitter page via Gmail.

Google’s social search allows results to appear in real-time and without violating users’ privacy. Their strict parameters of choice and transparency ensure that users only share the information they choose to share.

Here’s an in-depth demo from Google:

I tried several social searches and was very impressed with the results I saw. It combines the granular search of Google with the real-time aspects of Twitter.

The fact that it only pulls information from users social networks ensures that the data users get in their queries is from a known source – not just another random insight from an unknown “expert.” Well done Google.