Google social search – what it is and how it works

Google social search, an upgrade to Google’s search algorithm which includes social media content personalised for each user, is being rolled out to internationally, the company announced today.

Google plus one button

Google plus one button

With the update users who are logged into their Google account when conducting a search will see social media content from friends and followers appear in their search results.

Google is releasing this features as believes that the upgrade will make search results more relevant for users. Google explains,

Social Search can help you find pages your friends have created, and it can also help you find links your contacts have shared on Twitter and other sites. If someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link, we may show that link in your results with a clear annotation. So, if you’re looking for information about modern cooking and your colleague Adam shared a link about Modernist Cuisine, you’ll see an annotation and picture of Adam under the result. That way when you see Adam in the office, you’ll know he might be a good person to ask about his favorite modern cooking techniques.”

These results from the social web are called from Google’s vast index of social networking content.  It was this index which came under attack from Facebook last week who, in a failed smear campaign, attempted to pitch influential bloggers and press against Google’s social networking activities.

You can see Google’s index of your social circle by visiting this link when logged into your Google or Gmail account.  Earlier in the month we reviewed Google’s social index; we said it was, “[a] shock seeing the huge amount of information Google can collect about each user through just a few links.”

Along with the international roll out of the social search Google has also announced that it will launch its +1 button as soon possible. Google’s +1 button is a Facebook Like clone which will allow users to favourite a website for inclusion in their own and their friends’ search results.

These additions to Google’s search results are part of the company’s attempts to gain a stronger position in the social networking field.

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