Google highlights social content in search results

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google's updated its social search algorithm to give more prominence to results from a user's friends.

Social search results will now be mixed in with other search results on the basis of relevance, whereas they previously appeared all together at the bottom of the page.

"So if you’re thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience, then we’ll bump up that post with a note and a picture," say Mike Cassidy, product management director and Matthew Kulick, product manager, on the company blog.

Also new are notes for links that have been shared on Twitter and other social sites.

"In the past, we’d show you results people created and linked through their Google profiles. Now, if someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link, we may show that link in your results with a clear annotation (which is visible only to you, and only when you’re signed in)," say Cassidy and Kulick.

" For example, if you’re looking for a video of President Obama on “The Daily Show” and your friend Nundu tweeted the video, that result might show up higher in your results and you’ll see a note with a picture of Nundu."

And the company's also changed the way users can connect, adding the ability to connect accounts privately through the user's Google account, so that twittternames, for example, don't automatically appear.

Google is rolling out the new features over the next week in English only.