Discover Google Social Search Improved

Last winter Google launched its social search feature, an application designed to help us find relevant web content published by people we know and give us even a broader network of contacts. Now Google is expanding Social Search to include public URLs that show up in the Buzz tab of users’ Google profiles.

In order to find relevant social content Google Social Search is now “following a more comprehensive set of public links from your Google profile to populate your “social circle”. When you’re logged in, Google will make a best guess about what public content you want to see in your search results based on your ‘social circle’, you now also have the option to add connected websites and publish content from them publicly on your Google profile.

Any guesses how it works? Google’s software engineer, Mike Lopyrev explains: “For example, you can choose to connect your Twitter account and set your tweets to appear publicly in your Buzz stream and the Buzz tab of your profile. “With our enhancements today, we’ll start following these public links in the Buzz tab to improve your social search results,” says Lopyrev. That means if there’s a link to your Twitter account in your public Buzz stream, we’ll follow that link to add the people you follow on Twitter to your social circle. If you don’t use Buzz, you can still add links to YouTube, Picasa and other websites directly to your Google profile, and we’ll continue to follow those links as well”.

All content that turns up in the social search results comes from public sources (friends, you’ve made through your Google profile, people you often Google-chat with, or people you’ve followed on Buzz, etc.), and your private connections can be viewed by you only. Furthermore, if a user has connected their account with another service like Twitter, Google will be delivering contacts followed on the famous microblog. Also, you are always able to see what content you are currently sharing and who you are connected with, by clicking on “My Social Content” and “My Social Circle” buttons.

Google’s customized search, tailored to users’ needs, is obviously the future. A rhetorical question is whether the world’s unexcelled search engine giant can be a better provider of these services in five years’ time, or whether Facebook will retain its leading position as the world’s largest social network.

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