Google Social Circle Results

Posted on April 13, 2010  Comments (2)

I haven’t paid much attention to this before: Google showing results based on your social network. In genera,l I think Google is doing great stuff. Their approach to profiles, buzz, search wiki, and social stuff in general however, I find poor (extremely poorly when I see how well they do so much else). They are too borg-like in their insistence you do things exactly as proscribed by them. They opt you in far to often, in the way they want – completely and with few, if any, options. They don’t provide good tools to let you manage your profile and connections. The Google profile itself is extremely lame.

It is very silly that they don’t let you create personas you want to use and let you use them as you want. They force you to use the Google account you are logged in as to access Google services as the profile used in Google searches. I don’t want or need the 2 tied together. And I would much prefer a way to switch between my personas by search (or buzz [though I dropped it because it was so inflexible] or whatever). I know which persona I want for a specific search. This seems like a very obvious thing lots of people would want to do. Google’s whole monolithic, one-very-rigid-size-fits-all social solutions don’t allow this. It is a fundamental flaw. Without fixing the flexibility of social services from Google I see them having trouble succeeding in that area. On the other hand much else of what they do is fantastic.

The way their search wiki stuff works is very similar: inflexible. They seem focused on do it how we want which is not, I think, the way most people want. Their social solutions are very all or nothing. They want people to behave how Google wants. For that reason after short attempts to try Google’s social efforts I give up. I keep hoping they will become more flexible and user friendly but keep being disappointed.

This is the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results. It is based on a combination of the following:

  • Direct connections from your Google chat buddies and contacts (5)
  • Direct connections from links listed on your Google profile (0) such as Twitter and FriendFeed
  • Secondary connections (252) that are publicly associated with your direct connections
  • In addition to web pages from your social circle, posts from your Google Reader subscriptions may also appear in your social search results.

Google Social Search is a feature designed to help you discover relevant publicly-accessible content from your social circle, a set of online friends and contacts. The idea is that content from your friends and social contacts is often more relevant to you than content from strangers. For example, a movie review from an expert is useful, but a movie review from your best friend can be even better.

Related: Ideas for Improving Google (2006)Web search improvement (2005)Google Wave Developer Preview WebcastGmail FailureGoogle Should Stay True to Their Management Practicespost about Google, focused on management practices

See video on Google social search:

Social search also shows you your Google contacts who have a Google profile and have content that can show up in your search results. Add new people to your social circle by adding them to the “Friends”, “Family”, or “Coworkers” group in your Google contacts. You can also follow your friends in Google Reader or Buzz, which adds them to your social circle.

It also shows you a list of secondary connections and how you are connected to them (through who).

Directly in the search results it lists “connected via Gmail” for links it can connect (say a blog by a contact).

2 Responses to “Google Social Circle Results”

  1. Josefina Agüello
    August 27th, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    My thinking for the 15% estimate was derived from the ranking factors released last year by SEOmoz combined with the results I’ve seen from testing on a few sites. Also, traditional linking is no-where near as popular as it used to be, so maybe that part of the algo.
    To reinforce the Social aspect of the algo, I believe a tremendous amount of traffic statistics are used as well, as this would help determine the spam from the genuine popularity.

  2. Let me Filter Out Websites Using Popups from Search Results | Improving Your Search Engine Ranking
    December 10th, 2013 @ 11:47 pm

    […] Web Search Improvements Suggestions from 2005 (most of which I am still waiting for) – Google Social Circle Results – Improve Google Search Results […]

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