Social gets serious: Google Social Search Update:
Google have recently announced updates to their social search functionality. While social search has been around since 2009 many people are still not aware of exactly what social search is, the impact it can have on the search experience and some of the benefits it can bring to the end user.
So what is social search ?
The power of referral through social networks, blogs and forums is constantly changing the dynamics of the internet. For reasons of familiarity, trust and authenticity more online users are looking to their peers and online network connections for advice & recommendations both from a social, and a business, perspective. Google social search offers a mechanism to incorporate this behaviour into the world’s favourite search engine. Essentially social search offers a personalized search experience which is only available to the individual when they are logged into their Google account
How does Social Search work ?
– The first key point to make is that social search is switched off by default. To enable it you need to edit the ‘Connected Accounts’ section within your main Google Account settings
– You can then connect accounts such as Facebook, Flicker, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter and yelp
– Once you have connected your accounts you should begin to see relevant content that your friends (network connections) share on the web
– Your own online content published through connected accounts like (Facebook & Twitter) becomes easier for your contacts to find when they are searching the web
– You can create a Google public profile to control exactly what you want to share through social search
What are the latest updates on Social Search ?
– The social search results will now be blended into the main search results returned. Social search results were previously only displayed at the bottom of the search results page.
– Google are incorporating links from other connected sources like tweets for example. So you might see tweets from your friends ranking in your search results when you search for something relevant to their tweet.
– Google have also provided more control over how you connect your accounts, allowing you to privately connect accounts to your Google account. This means you can restrict what content becomes publically available to social search and what remains private.
End user benefits of social search
– Effectively social search goes one step further in personalising the user search experience, delivering search results from your trusted friends and online networks as well as the wider internet
– Anyone can now become a publisher and rank on the search engines.!
– By creating a public profile and linking up accounts users now have another mechanism to create authority for themselves on certain subject matters within their networks.
Business benefits of Social Search
– Social networking is becoming ever more important in marketing your business over the internet. As businesses become more active in marketing through trusted networks and engaging in online communications via sites like Facebook and Twitter, Google social search offers the capability to ” join up the dots ” by optimizing this content to rank in the search result when users within their connected networks are searching the web.