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Google Launches Social Search

Google has released its Social Search experiment that it declared back in October 2009 on its web platform Google labs.

In recent years we have seen the boom in popularity of social networking sites like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter which allow internet users to make social connections online and publish their own content. To date, information on blogs, status updates or tweets based on your search query have not been very easy to find, especially ones that are relevant to your social circle. In Google’s own words “Most people on the web today make social connections and publish web content in many different ways… This translates to a public social web of content that has special relevance to each person”.

Social Search lets users with Google accounts find content from their online friends and social networking contacts through Google.com, along with standard search results.

If you were to search “Haiti earthquake disaster”, Google Social Search would include blogs, status updates or tweets from your social circle based on your search query separately under the natural search listings.

Is there scope for this functionality within the search market?  Well, Google Social Search comes on the back on some interesting data stating that Social Networks are more popular than Search in Australia. Hitwise has shown that in week 52 of 2009 social networks and forums took the lead over search engines, in terms of number of visit. Social Networking also peaked at its highest point in terms of internet visit share at 14.8% on Christmas day 2009.

Only time will tell how social networks shape Google’s future, but for now Network Intellect will be keeping a close eye on this medium.

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