Google Social Search Adds Your Friends to Your Search Results

As the name itself suggests, Google Social Search is a tool designed to search through your social networks. If you are a member of Twitter, FriendFeed, Picasa, Blogger, Google Reader or any other social network and want to know what your friends think about a particular subject, then this tool just might be of use to you.

Simply put, if you want to know the best pizza place in town just search for it on GSS. Assuming you entered the term “best pizza place”, with the usual top hits on Google, you will also see what your friends have posted on their social network sites related to your search term. For example, you might see Tweets from friends about pizza, Yelp reviews and Blog entries. In short, anything your friends have said about “best pizza place” on a social network you belong to will show up. Well, at least in theory.

The service is still in its experimental stage, so the results are not perfect yet. The results are also dependent on how closely your friend’s interests match yours and how large your social circle is. Another problem is that Google Social Search is not a real-time search engine; as a result, any content from your friends may not show up. Adding to the issues is Facebook’s strict policy of not sharing friend data publicly, so results from that network will not show up. Since Facebook is one of the largest social network sites out there, this is something Google will have to work on.

However, when all said and done, the service can only improve and if it does come out of the experimental stage it will turn out to be a powerful tool. If you would like to try it out, just head over to the Google Experimental Search page and add the new Social Search.

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