I love it when one of my friends gives me a tip on a new gadget or a great new restaurant they’ve found in the city. Reviews and advice from close friends is an important part of the whole social experience right? Well when searching the internet should it be any different? Would you prefer to gather advice and information from your friends rather than a non-human Google Search Algorithm? Probably not. So that’s why I’m personally excited about the latest update to Google Social Search. Although introduced by Google in 2009 and talked about here at groovyPost (wow, was it really that long ago?), this week Google made it even groovier.
If you’re a social search veteran, then you’ll want to know the listed out updates. Google posted them in their official blog announcement, but we’ve summarized them to a simple list below:
- Trail mixed search results
This means that your social search results will be mixed in with regular Google search engine results. Previously, they were only displayed at the bottom of the page.
- 3rd Party Site Support
Google has added in the ability to show links that have been shared by your contacts on Twitter and other external websites. For this to work you must have your Twitter account linked up to your Google account.
- Improved Account Connection Management
They’ve improved how you link up external accounts to your Google one, you can now do it privately via your Google Account page – and the old way still works on your Google Profile. With the Google Accounts page you can now select whether you want your connections to show up publicly, or if you want to hide them and maintain privacy.
That covers all of the updates! If you are new to Google Social search, or just want to hear a reminder of how it works, read on!
What is Social Search?
If you are logged into your Google Account, Google will take a look at your contact list and see who you follow, and who your friends are on any connected accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…). From this list of people who you likely trust, Google will display search results that your contacts have either shared, or written; relevant to your search query of course. Google made a groovy demonstration video to help explain, check it out below: