New Google search update means social network updates will impact on search results
Internet giant Google has launched a new tool that integrates social networking updates from sites like Twitter and LinkedIn into search results, showing users if a friend has tweeted or shared an article, video or piece of content.
While Google has previously integrated results from social networks this new upgrade is much more – content your friends have retweeted or liked will now show up higher than it otherwise would have.
Stewart Media chief executive Jim Stewart says that is another reason why businesses need to be on social networks like Twitter, commenting on and sharing all types of content that can be spread through a fan base.
“About two years ago I said that Twitter was bigger than Google. And by that what I mean is that it has completely changed the way Google ranks search results,” Stewart says.
“This whole “real time marketing” aspect of everything is changing how Google works.
“Google was always lacking a type of integration with social media and this is the element that Twitter provides to them. This is just an exaggeration of that.”
In a new blog post Google outlined the way Google Social Search will work. Previously there would be a section of the results page dedicated to tweets but now they will be integrated throughout the results themselves.
“This means you’ll start seeing more from people like co-workers and friends, with annotations below the results they’ve shared or created,” Google says.
“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.”
In a second major update Google says links shared on Twitter will make their way onto the results page with a little note saying one of your friends has shared it before.
“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,” the company says.
The third major update to Social Search is control over accounts. The new Social Search only works if you are logged into a Google account and you now have the option to connect an account or refuse content to be shared.
Google product management director of search Mike Cassidy has told TechCrunch that in some cases the search results may be changed depending on the content that shows up and one aspect to be considered is how many friends share a link.
As for Facebook, Cassidy said: “We’re focused on sites where it’s relatively easy to crawl for data … we’re interested in including any publicly available content.”
Twitter seems to be the main focus for now.
“One of the big arguments when Twitter first came out was that it would kill Google. But what Google has just done is combined them. It’s a good move,” Stewart says.
“This is simply another reason why businesses should be getting online as fast as they can and start sharing content with others.”