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Thursday, January 28, 2010
Google Search Is Getting More Social

Google's Social Search is available to everyone in beta on google.com.

With Social Search, when users search for something on Google, they not only do we get the usual websites with expert opinions, they also find relevant pages from their friends and contacts.

"For example, if one of my friends has written a blog where he talks about a great baby shop he found in Mountain View, this might appear in my social results. I could probably find other reviews, but my friend's blog is more relevant because I know and trust the author, "said Maureen Heymans, Technical Lead for Social Search at Google.

Google has also added some new features to the search. For example, they' ve added social to Google Images. Now when you're doing a search on Images, you may start seeing pictures from people in your social circle. These are pictures that your friends and other contacts have published publicly to the web on photo-sharing sites like Picasa Web Albums and Flickr. Just like the other social results, social image results appear under a special heading called "Results from your social circle." Here's what it looks like:

Looking at the screenshot, you may notice two new links for "My social circle" and "My social content." These links will take you to a new interface we've added where you can see the connections and content behind your social results. Clicking on "My social circle" shows your extended network of online contacts and how you're connected.

Clicking on "My social content" lists your public pages that might appear in other people's social results. This new interface should give you a peek under the hood of how Social Search builds your social circle and connects you with web content from your friends and extended network. You can check out your social circle directly by visiting this link. (Note that it may take some time for the connections and content to update.)

The new features are rolling out now on google.com in English for all signed-in users.

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