Social Search


Social Search or Google Social search is one of the more recent examples of the Google Search products evolving to take account of the huge increase in use of social media networks.

This takes personalised search one stage further by making use not just of your previous search history or of your location, but of your network of contacts.

From a search marketing point of view the immediate questions are how are the results ranked and how is your particular social circle or network determined.

Google Social Search uses several different ways of determining your ‘network’; these include:

  • Your Google Profile
  • Your Google Gmail contacts, assuming you login using a Google Account.
  • Your Google Chat contacts account
  • Your Google Reader (from signing up to blogs)

And from your Google profile it may be possible to see other social network contacts via:

  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Flickr

Once Google Social Search has determined your social network it looks for content published by people in your network; these might be blogs or tweets or any other information that is already within the public domain.

This information is shown alongside other search results in the main search results, usually with a heading above “Results from people in your social circle for [keyword].” A couple of results are normally returned, but you can click on the header to see a larger set of purely social search results.

And so what is the impact of social search on online marketing? Although at the moment the search results are unreliable (especially images) if this takes off in a big way it is important to have had in place  a strategy to deal with this. Cornish WebServices have been considering social search for some time when planning client search marketing strategies. This enables websites to be robust to future shifts in the search market place.

Looking for advice on making use of the opportunities of social search? Contact Cornish WebServices to discuss the opportunities available. Our search marketing and SEO services have been considering social media for many years, making them more robust to changes in search market behaviour.

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