“Google Me” is not going to be the Facebook killer which some people thought it would be when the rumors about a Google Social Network first popped up. Google CEO Eric Schmidt already announced that what Google will be releasing in the coming months are “layers”. The first one of these layers in my opinion was already there: the option to see results “from your social circle”.
We all know Google tests out stuff in the wild. That means that once in a while a blogger might see something which Google is rolling out pretty soon. It happened to Distilled’s Rob Ousbey when he spotted Instant and Patrick Altoft who spotted the full page previews. This time its Malcolm Coles who has spotted one of the testings of Google, and this might very well be one which has something to do with the social layers Schmidt was talking about: “shared by”.
Malcolm spotted a “shared by 5+” sentence underneath one of his search results. The “shared by” option indicates how many people on Twitter have shared that specific result. He notes that this is NOT from his social circle, since he is not logged in. So what Google does here is simply checking the number of tweets on a link, so it seems.
In his post Malcolm then also refers to something else which popped up with another user: recent social media updates. Which indicates this will go to the Google ‘recent’ page, which shows recent updates from amongst others social networks.
So what can we read into this? It’s another indication that Google is looking for the social part of search and is really looking for features which will ad social to the search. It again is NOT a social network Google is building themselves (after all, they’ve failed on that before) but they are getting the different social elements together in the search results.
A nice thing to do know is speculate what is next and how can we use this. It will without a doubt give a boost to those trying to push stories through Twitter if this becomes a rankingfactor. What do you think?