Google Puts Your Friends in Search Results

Google Announces Social Search Features
Last Week at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Google unveiled new social media features that will be making their way into regular search results. There’s a demo in the first 6 minutes of the presentation but in a nutshell: Searches will now provide results from people in your social networks. For example, if you search for a restaurant you will see what your friends on Yelp thought of the restaurant. Another example they demonstrated was searching for info on the iPhone and Blackberry smartphones, which yielded a friend’s blog post about why they switched from Blackberry.

This seems like a very natural evolution of Google’s Universal Search feature, that incorporates more than just web pages in results already (like photos, videos and news) and I suspect all search engines to have this as basic functionality going forward.

What this could mean for your business is more ways for users to find you, making it all the more important to establish a presence on Facebook, Twitter and other networks. You have to connect with these users in order for them to see your social info in their search results, which means you have to be contributing useful or amusing content and accruing “friends.” “Set it and forget it” won’t work with social media.

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