What is Google Social Search?
Google Labs announced their new feature called ‘Social Search’ in October 2009, the idea being to make search a much more personal experience through providing search results that are more relevant and meaningful to us. If you are signed in to Google, the search results highlight relevant content that's created by or shared by your social connections. This could include websites, blogs, images and relevant articles or personal profiles of people you know beneath results for social sites like Twitter and Flickr.
Social Search Updates – Feb 2011
Social search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom). This means you’ll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below of the results they’ve shared or created.
Notes will be added for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites. In the past, Google showed us results people created and linked through their Google profiles. Now, if someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link, that link may appear in your results with a clear annotation (which is visible only to you, and only when you’re signed in).
More control over how you connect accounts. You can still connect accounts publicly on your Google profile, but a new option to connect accounts privately in your Google Account now exists. In addition, if Google’s algorithms find a public account that might be yours (for example, because the usernames are the same), you may receive an invite to connect your accounts on the search results page and in your Google Account settings.