The concept of social services cannot be ignored nor avoided it seems. The latest Internet feature to get the “social” treatment is Google search. The Google Search, Plus Your World feature is here and if you don’t have it now, you will have it soon - assuming you have a Google+ profile.
But as Stephen Shankland at CNET explains, Google really had no choice but to add a social aspect to its search results. Social interaction and the social information that activity generates can be a powerful tool for creating targeted and more relevant search results. The key word for me is “can,” because it can also create crazy search results.
For people who use social networks to their maximum effect, posting photos, updating statuses, logging in to locations via Foursqare, raising cabbages in Farmville, etc., search results may indeed benefit from social network input. However, for people like me, I think my limited social interactions in these services may actually distort search results instead of enhance them.
The social aspect of Google search (Google Search, Plus Your World) has not been rolled out to my account yet, so only time will tell. But if you want to see what Google envisions as the benefits to this new feature, check out the YouTube video.
Are you ready for personalized social features to show up in your next Google search? Do you think it will make for better searches?