What is Google Social Search and why do I care?

on February 21, 2011 | Google Search | Comments (0)

The latest news in the Google-sphere is that yesterday the global search giant announced their social search results will no longer be hidden at the bottom of the results page but will now be integrated with the normal results.

On first inspection it seems hugely exciting -visions of a whole heap of user-generated Facebook and Twitter feedback about your search subject appearing alongside all the typical marketing-minded links may come to mind….however these dreams are short-lived once you read into it a little further.

First of all in order to get social results you must create, and be signed into, your personal Google Account.  Secondly you need to rely on purely the social connections you have through these particular networks – if they haven’t said anything about what you are searching for, no dice.  So in other words, it might help if you’re looking for general reactions of your friends to Miranda Kerr… but not so much for a lot of the usual stuff you are probably searching for, like “how do I fill out my tax return” or “what is this mysterious rash on my thigh”.

Google Social SearchThirdly given the World War III that continues to be fought between Google and Facebook, Facebook results are not included. So basically the biggest social network that most of us have is excluded due to petty digital wars on who can make the most money and steal the most staff.

Social search will return public results from sites such as Flickr, Quora, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, so it’s not all bad.  But with all the caveats above, I still think at this stage there is a way to go before it really is the super exciting feature it is being made out to be.

It might help if you can be bothered to do all the legwork to create a Google Account and connect all your networks to it, you have a huge network of people that talk about a wide range of topics that you will be searching on, their content is completely public AND they don’t confine their conversations to Facebook… well then you’ve got a winner.

Otherwise, let’s wait for the next upgrade shall we?

carapring :


* indicates required