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google_social_searchGoogle Social Search was launched in 2009 as a way for us to stay connected with our social circle, while searching on Google. Social Search combined regular search results with friends activities on social sites. Some of the results included, friends photos or blog posts and would show at the bottom of the search results (this appeared only if friends connected their Twitter, Flickr, and other social media sites to their Google profile).

Google announced today, that major updates and changes will be occurring to Social Search. One such update will be the integration of new websites, such as, Twitter, Flickr and Quora, which will now be prominent within search results. The first major change will be in how the Social Search results are displayed. These results will no longer show at the bottom, but instead, will be mixed-in with regular search results. This means that now you will be seeing more from people you work with, family, friends, etc. and the links they have shared or created. For Example, if you were searching for “Things I Need While Camping” and your friend “Henry” wrote a blog post about this very topic, it will now be in and  amongst the search results that appear instead of at the bottom. The second change occurring to Google Social Search, is the addition of a “note” appearing beneath search results. What is the “note” for?  The “note” appears beneath links displayed within the search results, that have been shared on social sites, like Twitter, by a person you are connected to.

Google will also display a photo of the person who shared it beside the “note”. This type of search result will appear depending on relevancy and may be placed  higher than other results given by Google. For Example:  If you are searching for a video about “Dancing Monkey’s” and your friend “Mary” tweeted that video, it may appear higher within the search results,  include a thumbnail of “Mary,” and a note beside it stating, “Mary Shared This On Twitter.” The third and final change (for now) is the amount of control and convenience when connecting accounts. Accounts can still be connected publicly via your Google Profile, and now, due to this recent change, can also be connected privately through your Google Account.

Also, if Google finds a public account that might be yours, due to the usernames being the same, then they may invite you, to connect accounts, on the search results page and within your Google Account. This new setting gives you the choice to publicly show or not show connected accounts on your Google Profile. In order to get Social Search Results, you must be signed in to your Google Account, otherwise it will not be visible. Google will be rolling out these changes starting today on Google and in English only. Keep on the look out for these changes because they should appear within your search results in the coming week.

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