Google is taking it step by step, a very different way than we are used to in this digital era, but slowly but surely Google’s social face is becoming more visible. The latest additions to the Google search results are yet again another signal of Google’s social efforts.
Googles Social Search has been around for a while now (since 2009) but is only showing a small amount of social elements. Social results coming from tools like Twitter for example, were until now not a very big part of the search result. Google now has started to mix social results, from for example Twitter or blogs, with other results.
Don’t get too excited. These kind of results have been there for a while, but usually on the bottom of the page under the subtitle “results from your social circle”. When that result is relevant enough it will now show up on a higher position. This means you will be seeing a lot more from your friends and other network-related persons. A logical step in the area in which word-of-mouth is again one of the most looked at ways of marketing.
The results can also be coming from Twitter. Google calls it “adding notes for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites”. The biggest change here is that the result from the people you know will not necessarily have to be shown through a Google Profile. As long as you’re connected you’ll see the publicly created link, with an annotation.
Finally Google added more options to your Google Profile for you to connect accounts privately. You’ll only get social search results when you choose to log in to your Google Account. Google is starting to roll out the updates today on Google.com in English only and they’ll appear in the coming week.
As you may notice, there is not said a word about Facebook. And with reason. Where Bing and Facebook are working closely together, Google and Facebook are only connected on a small deal about Fan Pages, not personal updates. So the “like”-data which Facebook and Bing are now using in ranking factors also is not available for Google. Which means that Google will have to look in different directions. Which in this case is Twitter.
With the rumors of Twitter being in talks with both Google and Facebook this is an interesting angle to take from Google. But also one they HAVE to take.