Google is stepping up the social game and is now launching better integration of its social search feature along with new functionality. Social search results from your friends and contacts will now be able to show up anywhere on the search results page, not only at the bottom. Social search now incorporates more sources as well."Today we’re doing a little bit more to bring you all the goodness of Google, plus the opinions of the people you care about," Mike Cassidy, Product Management Director, and Matthew Kulick, Product Manager at Google write.
"We introduced Google Social Search in 2009, and... we’ve made a number of improvements since then," they added.
"Today we’re taking another step forward—enabling you to get even more information from the people that matter to you, whether they’re publishing on YouTube, Flickr or their own blog or website," they announced.
The biggest and most visible change is the fact that social search results are no longer relegated to the bottom of the page. If Google deems a particular result relevant enough, it will place it higher up the page, among the regular results, even as the first entry.
This makes social search entries a lot easier to spot and, hopefully, should improve the relevancy of results in general.
The second big update is equally important. Until now, social searches relied on content and links shared on Google via Profiles. However, not that many people use their Google profiles for this, so there wasn't much data to go on.
Now Google has added a number of sources for information, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, blogs and so on. Any link tweeted by a friend, video liked or uploaded can become a valuable resource.
Google is also making a small change that should prove very useful in practice, users can link outside accounts to the their Google Profiles without making it public. What's more, Google will actively suggest accounts that you may own, for example a Twitter account that has the same user name.
The revamped social search is rolling now out for the English language version of Google. Earlier, Google has rolled out the new top navigation bar, which has been associated with its Google Me or Google +1 project. Google has confirmed that it's building a social "layer" for all of its products, and the new social search features sure seem like a part of that.