Google expands Social Search test

The service, which pulls public content from users' friends on social networks, is graduating from Labs to Google.com

Google's Social Search service, which includes public content from users' social networks in search results, is getting promoted to Google.com from the company's Labs site, meaning it is no longer considered an early prototype.

In the coming days, Google will let English-language users of its search engine see relevant links to items their social-networking contacts have posted publicly on the Web. Social Search results will also appear in the Google Images engine, the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

To use Social Search, users have to be signed in to their Google account. Google also recommends that people create a Google Profile, which they can then populate with addresses to their blogs, social networks, photo-sharing accounts and so on. Google can then harvest the contacts and connections in those sites, as well as in Google services like Gmail and Google Reader, and index publicly available, relevant content for these users' Social Search query results.

Because Google sees many potential improvements and extensions to Social Search in the near future, it is slapping a "beta" tag on it, to indicate the product is likely to evolve considerably. "We think there's tremendous potential for social information to improve search, and we're just beginning to scratch the surface," wrote Maureen Heymans, technical lead for Social Search, and Terran Melconian, technical lead for Social Image Search, in the blog post..

In addition to the Social Search effort, Google is also indexing public posts from social networks and returning links to them in search results even for users who aren't signed in to their Google account. Google has recently started inserting such links into its main list of results, as well as giving users the option to only see these types of results for their query.

Incorporating social-networking content into its search index is both a necessary complement to its search results and a competitive move for Google, said industry analyst Greg Sterling from Sterling Market Intelligence.

Content from sites like Twitter has proven increasingly valuable for identifying trends and for following breaking news events. Google is aware that Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social networks are nabbing a bigger portion of the time people spend online.

"You can see [social-network search results] as a valuable new source of information and content that helps people make decisions and be informed," he said. "You can also see this as an attempt to preempt the defection of people to these other services."

"There is both an objective reason for doing it and a competitive reason. Both are present here in this product launch," Sterling added.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlesearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?