Google Social Search

Google’s latest search tool, Social Search, marks an effort to keep up with the way people search and the importance they place on various types of media. In the Sociale Search model, priority is given to content garnered from social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, RSS feeds, Flickr, Gmail accounts, and Google Talk transcripts.

The results are then integrated into the main search results page in the same way they are for images, videos, and other categories. For more localized or specific queries, Social Search can provide a more personalized browsing experience.


Search Engine Watch’s John Greer writes, “The idea behind social search is basically to get the input of your friends, rather than anonymous Web sites. This tends to fit into certain types of searches, such as ‘What’s a good restaurant to take my wife for our anniversary?’ rather than ‘How many light years away is Alpha Centauri?’” Social Search lends itself directly to the types of queries made by mobile users, who typically seek out driving directions, top restaurants, and local points of interest.

What does this mean for SEOIt means that Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles, and blogs need to be updated regularly and keyworded just as your site’s standard content is. These need to be heavily subscribed to, so you’ll want as many Facebook friends as possible and as many Twitter followers.  This will allow Social Search to hit on your content more often and give it higher placement.  Likewise with email newsletters: optimising these will be important because Social Search trawls Gmail as well.  Full-text RSS feeds, as opposed to a feed with only the first paragraph or two, will rank higher in the results.


Users of any Google services will not have to do anything out of the ordinary or take an extra step to get social results: they are incorporated directly into standard results.  Their placement on the list, however, depends largely on solid SEO.

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