Search your social network with Google social search

google-logo-300pxKeeping a close eye on the people in your social network is all we want. Most of us also know how hard and time consuming this can be. Last week I showed that Gist is a powerful application to keep up to date with the people in your social network. Today Google released their new Social Search which shows search results related to your friends.

More easily find blogs, reviews and other public content from your friends

From today you can sign in to Google and do a search. If there’s relevant web content written by people in your social circle, it will automatically show up at the bottom of your search results under a section called “Results from people in your social circle.”Isn’t that a great new feature? It’s being offered by Google Social Search, a new experimental service which you can activate in Google Labs. To see even more social content you can click the “Show options” link at the top of the results page and then click on the “Social” link.

Friends provide you with more relevant content

Just imagine you are looking for a new television, but don’t know which one to choose. Instead of reading many reviews Google will show you a review or blog post by one of your friends. When you are looking for a restaurant I bed you will choose the restaurant with a positive review by one of your friends.

Being up to date with your social circle

The main question is how Google knows your social circle. Who are your friends? Google’s social circle is a combination of your Gmail chat buddies, your Gmail contacts friends, family and co-worker groups, and people you’re publicly connected to on other social sites (such as Twitter and FriendFeed). If you don’t want to see social search results, you can simply sign out of your Google Account, or opt out of the Social Search experiment at any time. To opt out, visit http://www.google.com/experimental and click theLeavebutton for the experiment.

Get started with Social Search

To get started with Google Social Search you will need a Google account. Make that you add as many of your personal (social) links as possible to your Google profile. Based on that information Google will start searching for relevant content by your friends. This might take some time. Google claims it may take a couple weeks (or longer) for your social search results to take new contacts and content into account. It looks like Google is facing some issues with starting the service. Several people, including us, report they do not see any results. Probably we will need to be a bit more patient. We would like to know your opinion about Google Social Search. Please share your opinion below.

VP Software Development Europe for Aspire Systems. Sociologist and electrotechnical engineer, a great combination that stimulates him to look for the best working software solutions for clients. Passionate about converting great ideas into new solutions. Married and a proud father of 3 great sons. Training for and participating in triathlons/runs to stay fit.