The social relevance of search results took on new importance today as Google announced a fresg revamp of its social search features. To quote the company’s Project Management Director Mike Cassidy on Google’s blog, “[R]elevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships.” Google is leveraging those relationships by bringing an even greater social emphasis to its search results.
Google rolled out its social search functionality back in 2009. Since then, there have been some small changes here and there. Today’s announced overhaul, however, is a major step in a bold direction. Starting today, users will get more information from the people that matter to them, whether that info is being published onYouTube, Flickr or even their own blogs and sites. How will this manifest in the search results? Well, social search results will now be mixed right into the results list based on their relevance. Annotations will tell you which of your friends posted the information and where. Previously, social search results only appeared at the bottom of the screen. Now, they will take their rightful places on the most valuable real estate on the screen.
Of course, you have to be logged into Google to see this functionality in action. However, it is worth the extra step. In fact, even links that your friends may feature publicly on sites like Twitter are rolled into the mix and annotated to show you the social connection between you and the poster. To facilitate this, Google s making it easier and even more secure to connect your social network accounts. In the past, you had to create a Google Profile and link your other accounts to it. Starting today, you can privately connect those accounts directly to your Google account itself.
The new functionality really looks innovative and promising. Talk about leveraging the knowledge of the people you know and trust most! A helpful introductory video is available. The new social search is rolling out in the days ahead. Keep an eye out for it!