A few days ago I wrote about how Bing Twitter was available for people to use the Bing search engine to look up tweets from Twitter on a particular word. I ended the article say Google cannot be far behind and Google announced through its blog the availability of Social Search within days. It is still in Google Labs and anyone can take part in testing it.
How to use Social Search?
- First you need to be a part of the experiment at Google Labs.
- Once you select ‘Join the Experiment‘, you need to search something on Google.
- Now if you are India you might be at Google India. Social search does not work with Google India as yet. So click on the link at the bottom which reads as ‘Go to Google.com‘
Google Social Search
- After being getting results for the keywords on Google Search, click on ‘Show Options‘ right at the top of all search results. Then select Social. (See image above)
- This section shows what your social circle has had to say about the particular keyword. I searched Geocities as it was a recent hot topic on the internet and sure enough I got a host of links to people and their opinions on that keyword.
- I could lookup the people in my social circle one by one as they are shown in a list under All people. (see image)
- People in the social circle seem to be connected to you through twitter, facebook, gmail, digg and friendfeed at first glance.
- There are also indirect references, as in someone shows up connected to me through another friend I might be connected through Gmail. This obviously increases the social circle significantly.
Different from Bing Twitter
I have read a lot of articles on the internet saying Google Social Search is a competitor to Bing Twitter but I think that notion is misplaced. Both tools are very different and their use also is very different.
If you are searching for what people think about a particular event the Bing Twitter seems to be more useful as it takes all Tweets on Twitter as relevant rather than just lookup without your friends circle.
From a blogger’s point of view Social Search seems to be more interesting as it is a great way to compare and look up what your friends and their friends are writing and commenting about.