Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 1st, 2010

Social Search Gets Redefined (with video evidence)

Last October, Google rolled out a new experimental feature from their ‘Labs’ called Social Search that brings together relevant web content from your entire online social circle (on Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, etc.) and puts it in your search results. The experimental conclusion? Success. Social Search is now available with improvements in beta at for all signed-in users. Check out your new-and-improved online social life after the jump.

Happy Hour!

It’s Friday, it’s 5 PM, and all the TPS reports have been turned in, filed, shredded, or burned in an old, rickety trash can in the back alley. You and “Bob” from accounting want to go blow off some steam at a local watering hole, but nothing jumps out. Busting out your iPhone with bad rap on your brain, you search for [happy hour austin] or [austin bars] in search for frosty goodness at recession-defying prices. With Social Search, you will not only find a list of bars’ websites and Yelp reviews, you will find relevant results from your online friends and contacts. Has one of your friends Yelped about the bar’s prices and service? Has a friend of a friend worked there before and can tell you what NOT to order?! Did someone post on their Facebook status that they were already headed there? With Social Search, you are bringing more of your social circle to the surface of your influence.

”Image-In All the People..”

With this next feature, you won’t need to imagine any longer (my sincerest apologies to John Lennon – RIP). Google has added social to Google Images. Now, when you conduct an Image search, you may start seeing pictures of people from your online social circles pop up in the results. These pictures will come from anywhere on the web that they may have published photos and made them accessible to the public – Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, etc.

Circles without the Hangover

Your social image results, as well as your relevant social results, will appear under a special heading called “results from your social circle”. Under this heading there will be two new links for “My social circle” and “My social content”, which will take you to a new interface where you can see connections and content from your online social circles. You can also see which of your public pages are visible to your friends and contacts.

Google’s Social Search is an excellent way to build your online social circle and keeps you connected with web content from your blog-happy friends and extended network. Check out your online social circle by visiting here.

Google feels, and we agree, that this has tremendous potential for improving search with social information. As always, Google has made a video to accompany such a launch. And, as always, I have included it below: