A LOOK AT GOOGLE SOCIAL SEARCH
With Google Social Search you can carry out search based on
content published by your friends and contacts.
26 October 2009. Google Social Search goes live. But only as an
opt‐in Google Labs feature.
27 January 2010. Google Social Search is released in beta status, and
becomes a standard feature on Google.com for signed‐in users
My Social Circle: shows your extended network of online contacts
and how you're connected.
My Social Content: shows your published content as it appears in
other people’s social search results.
Google Images: you can view pictures from contacts in social circles
How does Google Social Search ﬁnd content?
Mainly through your social Google proﬁle. You can select what
informa on you want to share.
One of the most conten ous issues with Google Social Search at the
moment is that most Facebook content is outside the reach of
Google Social Search. Google has expressed an interest in indexing
and returning Facebook status updates in its search results. But it’s
not up to Google as this is part of a bigger issue concerning
Facebook and its approach to members’ privacy in general.
I found everything I wanted / expected, really, in its features. The
Facebook issue has to be, surely, signiﬁcant to the overall appeal of
Google Social Search in general.
The main Google Social Search Demonstra on video
(here: h p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqWJxgp‐_mU) did make
me think about social search in general. The video brings up the
scenario of visi ng another country, and ﬁnding out what content
your friends have published on that subject. Sure, this is an
interes ng use for Social Search, but it made me think that people
are s ll going to depend a lot more on tradi onal, algorithmic
search (i.e. Google takes them to a website such as Lonely Planet, or
to web sites where travellers in general recount their experiences
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etc ..) than social search for a par cular topic like this. In their next
example, they discuss ﬁnding informa on about moving from
blackberry to iPhone. I would have thought it would be much more
eﬀec ve – for people in general – to use tradi onal search to ﬁnd
good advice on such an issue. Lastly, they give an example of using
Social Search to ﬁnd out informa on about local restaurants. Of the
three examples, this, I thought was the best one (surely,
recommending restaurants – and other similar types of local
businesses ‐ is very usual amongst friends in life in general?).
How will Google Social Search fare in the world of business? The
demonstra on video didn’t refer to its use in a business
environment at all. I can imagine people in businesses seeing
Google Social Search as, poten ally, another channel for marke ng
their business (compared to those who use social media for
personal use and are more apt to keep their content private –
between friends) as well as being a useful search tool in general.
But it’s early days yet to say anything more concrete than that.
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