Google today announced an update to their Social Search results which was first launched in 2009. Although this update incorporates popular social channels like Twitter and YouTube, Facebook still remains excluded.
On the official Google blog they stated:
“Today we’re doing a little bit more to bring you all the goodness of Google, plus the opinions of the people you care about. As always, we want to help you find the most relevant answers among the billions of interconnected pages on the web. But relevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships.”
Mixed into search results based on their relevance (previously social results only appeared at the bottom of the page) this update means that you’ll start seeing more content shared or related to your friends and colleagues on sites like Twitter, blogs, Flickr and YouTube will start to appear more in search results when signed in to your Google account.
The example used by Google can be seen below with the screenshot showing a Matt Cutts blog post appearing high in the results when someone following him on Twitter was to search for ‘climbing Kilimanjaro’. The results now show a post and a photo of Matt underneath the URL in position 3.
The other major change is increasing how much control you’ll have over connecting accounts. Accounts such as Twitter and LinkedIn can now be added privately in your Google Account and ensure that results related to your connections will only appear if you are signed in.
UPDATE – 25th Feb 2011: Bing now includes Facebook ‘Likes’ in Search Results