Google Makes Search Social

Google Makes Search Social

“Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.”

The First Law of Geography according to Waldo Tobler is also a key component in Googles algorithm to determine search ranking. Google looks at how closely search phrases are spaced in the search box, and on the page, as well as how closely linked the searcher is geographically to the search results (among other things).

So it should be no surprise that Google can now provide search results based on how closely you are connected to people. Social Search, a new Google Labs tool, brings your social circle (and the Web content they create) into your search results.

We’re more connected to people than ever before

A longstanding belief is that there are six degrees of separation between any two people on earth. Start with the people you are connected with, move on to the people your friends are connected with, and within six people you can connect any one on earth.

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According to research, the social Web has helped connect us in ways like never before. According to the study, the average person is now connected by just three degrees within a shared “interest” or social group instead of six.

Social Search provides two degrees of relevant content in Search Results. Starting with the people you are connected with, Google Social Search stretches out your personalized social search index to include the people your friends are connected with to form your extended social circle.

What Social Search Does

Social Search makes use of your extended social network to help you find relevant information faster.

Using Google Social Search:

With Social Search turned on, Google highlights relevant social search results at the bottom of the first page of search results. The results may be Websites, blogs, restaurant reviews, comments, even 140 character Twitter Posts.

In my use of the social search by turning the feature on in Google Labs, I found search results appearing from a wide variety of people I’m connected with and from people my extended social circle.

Some of the search results I encountered:

  • Web pages by people I’m connected to on Twitter
  • Twitter status updates
  • results from feeds I’m subscribed to on Google reader
  • blog posts by friends of people I’m connected with on Friendfeed
  • Google Chat friend links.
  • Youtube videos and Flickr photo libraries

google social search


    How Social Search Works:

    Social search results are taken from the public Internet.

    Google uses your connections across Social Web sites defined in your Google Profile. Google indexes the links provided in user profiles and the content it can see in these social networks using the same algorithm it uses for standard search. Interestingly, Google as of now cannot see Facebook content, only the people each user is connected to.

    Google social search connects the links between people and the content they create all over the Web to provide personalized trusted social search results.

    Your Social Circle & Knowing Their Content

    The Magic behind Google – Links:

      1. From my Google profile, Google sees I have a friend on Twitter
      2. That friend links to their blog in their Twitter profile
      3. Google links that blog to my social search world.
      4. The friend’s blog has a link to their Youtube account
      5. Following the links, Google could also include this Youtube account videos in my social search results.

    Check out Google Social Search
    To use social search, you will need a Google Profile, which identifies the social networks you are a part of.  Learn more about Google’s Profile pages and their importance to your tourism business.

    The more people you are connected to, the more places your content will show up in Social Search.

    Social Search is one more reason for Travel Industry peeps to GET CONNECTED.

    Homework:

      * Update your Google Profile.
      * Be Social: Work your networks and follow people who give good advice or who share similar interests.
      * Add a Google Friend Connect Widget and/or Facebook Fan Box to your blog to grow your network.
      * Update your profile across all your social services to include keywords.
      * When you post content, comment or engage in social media use your keywords and speak the language of your extended social circle.

    Relevant Links: