Google launches social search

Matt Bowman · October 21, 2009 · Short URL:

Search results will now feature results from user’s social graph, Google VP says

 At the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco today, Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience, demoed a new Google product called “Social Search.”

Mayer said the product is a response to internal discussions about how social networks could help improve the search experience.

(See an earlier interview Mayer did with Vator founder Bambi Francisco about the evolution of search)

For now, the feature is in the "labs" stage. Those who opt in will find content created by people from their own social graph included at the bottom of Google's search results. A search for New Zealand, for example, will still forefront results that are relevant globally, but the bottom of the page might display pictures from your cousin's trip to New Zealand two years ago.

To use the new functionality, users must be signed into Google, and must have told Google which profiles on the various social networks belong to them.

Earlier today, Google announced that they would be featuring Twitter’s real-time data in their search results. Both announcements signal a huge step forward in the integration of arguably the two biggest internet trends of the last decade: search and social networking.

Google will include what they are calling the personal social results at the bottom of the results page and will indicate where the connections came from, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any number of other social profiles.

The experiment is opt-in for the time being. Mayer said they were not disclosing financial terms with any of the social services, but, as the event MC John Batelle pointed out, “there were financial terms” that would not be disclosed.

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