Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which for nearly a year-and-a-half has promoted a ‘social search’ feature which plays up content written online by friends and friends of friends when users make a query on its search engine, is updating the feature in part to mix the ‘social’ results with standard web results. Previously, updates written by contacts were relegated to the bottom of the page.
Google also says it’s expanding the scope of the feature so it plays up content contacts link to on Twitter and other sites; the initial release of the product simply highlighted content created by friends and friends of friends on sites like YouTube and Flickr. (It still is only live in North America.)
The development is noteworthy since Google has been grappling with its approach to the social space. The company has concentrated many of its recent acquisitions on social companies and has been said to be working on some sort of social networking service. How that would fit into an existing product like ‘social search’ remains unclear.
Here’s a video describing how ‘social search’ works: