Google has revamped its Social Search, integrating Twitter, Flickr, and Quora into a major part of the search engine.
Launched in 2009, Social Search puts search results from your friends at the bottom of the search pages. Until now, it has taken this information from social profiles that you have attached to your Google account.
Google’s new change will take those friends’ search results and put them prominently on the page, not just tucked down at the bottom. This major change will give users hopefully what they want to see faster. Using an annotation system, the friends’ results will have a note off to the side to show you where the results originate. The annotation will let users know their friends shared a blog post.
To work closely with Social Search, the appearance of these shared links will come to fill up your results. If someone you follow on Twitter shared an article you are looking for, the Google result will state that a friend “shared this on Twitter.”
As a final component to bringing everything together, Google is expanding its focus on user control. Primarily in Social Search, Google has overhauled its options page to give users the ability to both privately and publicly share and connect their social profiles on their Google accounts. Google has even gone as far as to suggest which profiles are likely to control by cross referencing from your friends.
One feature we were hoping to see but was not released in this update is Facebook “Like” data. This feature also powers Bing’s search by referring to what users on Facebook have “liked” and shared. Instead of perusing deeper Facebook integration, Google seems to have just opted for Twitter, Flickr, and Quora for reference.