Google Adds More Friends to Social Search

Google announced today that it has upgraded Google Social Search to now include social data from Twitter, Flickr and Quora. In the past you may not have even noticed social results as they typically showed up at the bottom of the SERP. Now they are going to be blended throughout the SERPs as you can see below:

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About a year and half ago, I posited on SearchEngineLand that it was inevitable that Local Social Search would be the default search paradigm for local queries. We’re still not there yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I recall having a discussion at the time with a search engineer at Google who claimed this would be an impractical technical challenge for the search giant (never thought I’d hear that from a Googler). But with the continuing improvement of Google Social Search along with the pressure GOOG is feeling to compete with Facebook on the social front, I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot more local-social stuff coming out of the Plex.  For those of you pondering the implications, here’s an excerpt from my old post that I think is still relevant:

…there is a large opportunity for businesses to increase awareness in their community by simply networking with other businesses via social media like Twitter. But now with the advent of Google social search, the simple act of following or being followed has a ripple effect that could yield dramatic benefits.

Here’s a pseudo-real-world example:

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Google Hotpot: The Mobile Angle

Over on our Local Media blog, we cover Google's new "Hotpot" product. It essentially adds a social layer to local search, allowing users to connect to friends (Gmail contacts). Merchant ratings from you and your friends then govern personalized┬árecommendations in…

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