Today, Google announced an update to Google Social Search (first introduced in 2009) that will intermingle Social Search results with regular searches when relevant. What does this mean, exactly? Let’s say that you’re planning a trip to wreck dive in Bermuda, and you use Google to search for resources that will help you with this task. Little did you know, but your recently rediscovered (thanks to Facebook) high school pal Dave went wreck diving in Bermuda himself back in ’07, and he posted a whopping bunch of videos detailing this adventure to his YouTube channel. Now, Google Social Search will intuitively mix a link to “Dave’s Bermuda Wreck Diving Trip ’07” right into other pertinent results instead of hiding it at the bottom (as it’s done until now) where it would be more likely to go unnoticed. Maybe you haven’t talked to Dave much since high school because of the whole awkward, inevitable “catching up” conversation you were dreading, but now you’ve got something of recent interest to discuss! Hop to it. Maybe he’s got some leftover shark repellent that he can FedEx your way.

Google Social Search Update
Photo by Sean MacEntee

Another change that Google Social Search will introduce is the addition of annotation to results that friends and acquaintances have either tweeted, blogged, commented upon, status updated, or otherwise linked in some way more prominently so that not only are you finding the original content you were searching for anyway, but you can see what other people who you know think about it. Let’s say that your college film professor gave a less than flattering, less than 140 character review of your favorite movie of 2010 on Twitter. You discover this when you’re searching for a trailer of said movie and, livid, you decide to start a flame war with him on his Web site (you’ve already graduated, and he gave you a C. Screw that guy). Isn’t the Internet useful?

This new stuff will only work, of course, when you’re logged in to your Google account. So if you prefer to ignore old pals like Dave and the college professor (either because you’re a jerk or you’re easily distracted — both perfectly valid reasons, I suppose), you can either do your searches in a logged off state or probably change some settings around somewhere.

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The changes are being rolled out today, but only in English. Chances are that your English is better than my [insert your native tongue here], so if you can read what I’m typing right now, this won’t worry you. If you can’t, then I guess you don’t know what you’re missing! Carry on.