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The focus on social search has progressed for Google as they announced their social search service is now available in 19 different languages worldwide.
Originally launched in 2009, the social search service allows your SERPs to become more personalised as the results will feature what your friends and family have liked, shared or commented on. During this time, social search has seen ongoing developments, the latest of which opens the door to millions of more users around the world.
Social Search Developments
Social Search is a way of integrating personalised results into a user’s SERP, and for a time it was only available to English users. However, recent developments have meant that non-English users, in 19 different languages around the world can take advantage. It’s a very straightforward service, in which users log into their Google accounts and perform a search as normal. Google will then search the best possible results from your friends and family. They do this by searching your Google contacts, and the networks you have linked to from your Google account and public networks such as Twitter.
If you don’t want to integrate social search into your SERPs then you can change your search settings. It should be noted that you must have a Google Account and log into that account for social search to work.
This is just the start of what we can only assume to be a whole raft of developments for Google’s social search, as the +1 feature will also be integrated in future [See: Google Reveal +1 Social Layer]. As such, Google have been busy working away at trying to compete with alternative search engines and their main internet rival, Facebook.
Competing with Bing and Facebook
Social search developments have been ongoing, as Koozai revealed back in February [See: Social Search: Google and Bing Announce Updates]. Last week we also revealed that Bing were going to incorporate Facebook likes into their SERPs as more social signals are being used to personalise search [See: More Social Signals Being Integrated into Bing Search]. Clearly both search engines have been working hard at asserting themselves as internet trends are increasingly heading towards the social and personalised.
Putting the search engine rivalry to one side, both Google and Bing’s recent developments have signified the need for search engines to incorporate innovative services to compete with the likes of Facebook; who overtook Google as the most visited site of 2010 [See: Facebook Overhaul Google as the Most Popular Site of 2010].
However for Google, they have to compete with Bing as a search engine, Facebook as a social media platform and now both companies in terms of social search; something that would appear to be quite difficult to contend with. These developments certainly heat up the rivalry between Google and Bing, but more so Google and Facebook; especially in light of Facebook’s recent alleged smear campaign on the search engine giant.
It’s an interesting time for Google, Bing and Facebook. So what do you think? Will Google’s social service be popular, or will people start turning to Bing for social search as it integrates existing sophisticated social data from Facebook? Whilst it’s difficult to predict, one thing is for sure, Google are doing their best to compete.
Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.