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Search Goes Social

November 2, 2009

Last week was an eventful week for search and social marketing. First there was the announcement that Twitter had signed deals with both Bing and Google to give them access to its full feed of public tweets. How exactly the search engines intend to use this real-time information from Twitter remains a little fuzzy, though Bing does already utilize some of this in Bing Tweets.

On the same day Google announced a separate “Social Search” experiment in Google Labs. Google’s Social Search displays links and updates based upon the searcher’s own social network. The idea is to show personally relevant search results based upon your social connections. Why? Because people trust information more from people they know or are connected to.

The results (currently appearing at the bottom of the standard search results page) are based on various information sources, such as:

  • Gmail contacts
  • Google reader subscriptions
  • Social networking profiles on your Google profile
  • Friends on other services, including Flickr, FriendFeed, Digg, YouTube…

These search results also tell you how you are connected to that person; a nice touch.

There has been much talk about the growing convergence of search and social as well as predictions of their marriage in the future. But these are promising signs of the major engines taking serious steps forward where social media is concerned.

Learn More

To check out Google Social Search yourself, go to Google Labs and join the Social Search Experiment.

To understand How Google Social Search Works, watch the YouTube video by Matt Cutts.

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