Google Social Search

As I mentioned in my blog posts on Universal Search and Personalized Search, Google has been working on personalizing its search results utilizing social media and networking sites.

Google Social Search is meant to help searchers find the answers to their questions from their own social circle, a set of online friends and contacts they trust.  The idea is that content from your friends and social contacts is more likely to be relevant to you.

Google uses various sources to identify your connections and the relevant social search results such as:

  • Direct connections (friends, family or coworkers) from your Google chat buddies and contacts from Gmail or Google Talk
  • Direct connections from links listed on your Google profile such as Twitter, FriendFeed and LinkedIn
  • Secondary connections that are publicly associated with your direct connections
  • Posts from your Google Reader subscriptions

Google keeps updating your social graph every time you make changes to your connections.

Google Social Search

The social results only show up on search engine results pages when you are logged in to your Google account.  Currently the social search results for a particular search term is being listed at the bottom of the results page under “Results from people in your social circle” heading.  The content shown within Social Search is publicly available on the web through Google and other search engines. Social Search simply uses content from your social circle to provide a more personalized search results.

Here are some of the types of content you might see:

  • Websites, blogs, public profiles, and other content linked from your friends’ Google profiles
  • Web content, such as status updates, tweets, reviews, from social networks that your friends have listed in their Google profiles
  • Images posted publicly from your social circle on Picasa Web
  • Relevant articles from the RSS feeds you are subscribed to through Google Reader

The impact of social search on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be huge.  This means companies need to be more involved in attracting audience to their social profiles, get them subscribe to their RSS feeds or add them to their social bookmarking sites.

Filed Under: SMOSocial Media Marketing


About the Author

Nima Asrar Haghighi is an Internet Marketing consultant with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. You can reach Nima at +Google Plus or LinkedIn.

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