Google Takes Facebook Fight Global With Social Search

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Google has translated its Social Search service into 19 languages to challenge Facebook in personalised search

Google is bringing its Google Social Search software globally in 19 languages, ratcheting up the competition with social network giant Facebook.

Launched in 2010, Google Social Search is the company’s bid to personalise search by surfacing results of blog posts and other information generated by friends in a user’s social circle.

Building A Social Bridge

Social Search builds a bridge between users’ Google accounts and their profiles to find users’ content in its results page. This circle includes users of social services Google users have listed in their profile, including Gmail, Twitter, Quora, Google Buzz, Facebook and Picasa.

The company updated Social Search in February to make sure results appear throughout a results page based on relevance of a user’s connections with friends.

The idea is to generate more traffic and encourage sharing among friends, ideally to help users find new friends who will, in turn, share their info. It is this latest iteration that is rolling out to users of other languages on other Google domains. Users will also see who shared the result in the annotation underneath.

“For example, if you’re looking for information about low-light photography and your friend Marcin has written a blog post about it, that post may show up higher in your results with a clear annotation and picture of Marcin,” explained Google software engineer Yohann Coppel.

Social Search connections are summarised in a user’s Dashboard. Google said Social Search’s international expansion should be available in the coming week with more languages on the way.

Social Search In The News

The extension of Social Search comes during a busy few months of socially oriented search news. In March, Google introduced Google +1, an effort to let users share search results and ads they like. Google Profile users can click the +1 next to each search result or ad on and +1’s appear next to each selected search result in subsequent searches.

This is an effort to improve search relevancy, make search a bit more personal and sell ads against such results, which  is where the battlefield lies between Google and rival Facebook.

This month, Facebook, whose Like button is proving extremely viral, was caught out planting negative stories in the press about Google’s social circle feature infringing user privacy. Facebook hired Burson-Marsteller to flag this issue with major media outlets and bloggers only to have it backfire.

Bing earlier this week boosted its integration with Facebook, adding the Like button to its Bing Bar.

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