Google announced February 17, 2011 on their blog that they were upgrading its social search algorithm to include posts from popular social networking sites of a user’s social network friends into its Internet search results.
The new experiment on Google Labs called Google Social Search is an effort by Google to help a searchers find more relevant public content from your social contacts and feeds. This is an ongoing effort by Google to improve the relevance of search results with Google’s personalized search features.
The idea is that if you do a local, personalized search for great restaurants, you should start seeing friends posts and tweets that are in your social circle. That is assuming of course they are posting somewhere that Google has access to. Google currently included content created by your friends on Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, Quora, Flickr, Google Reader and more.
The new social search feature is currently only available in English. Google will not be displaying any social search results from Facebook, who has previously declined to share information with Google.
Google began indexing links and social connections as part of their Google Labs program In October of 2009. Google then began making social search available in January 2010 to its users. They then added their social feed Buzz a few months afterwards.
Google product management director Mike Cassidy and product manager Matthew Kulick said in a recent blog post:
“Relevance is not just about pages; it is also about relationships”.
“Today we are moving a step forward; empowering you to get even more information from the people that matter to you, whether they are publishing on YouTube, Flickr or their own blog or website” they said.
Click here for more information about Google’s Social Search features