I’m often spotting new features for logged in users in Google later than anyone else because I usually log out of my Google account before performing searches or doing anything else. That was different this morning which could only have meant that I forgot to log out yesterday night.
Well that happens and imagine my surprise when I found out about it. But that’s not the topic of this article. Scrolling down in the search results I spotted a new addition to them in the form of Social Circle results.
The Social Circle is apparently the social network of a user that has been linked by Google. They use information from Google products such as Gmail or Google Contacts to link people on the Internet together.
The results from people in your social circle are displayed at the end of the first search results page. They display information that have been posted by users of the social circle in the search results. These information can be from blogs these users own, Twitter messages, Google Reader, Stumbleupon, Facebook and dozens of other websites and services where they have posted messages.
Here are some of the types of content you might see:
- Websites, blogs, public profiles, and other content linked from your friends’ Google profiles
- Web content, such as status updates, tweets, and reviews, from social services that your friends have listed in their Google profiles
- Images posted publicly from your social circle on Picasa Web and from websites linked from their Google profiles
- Relevant articles from your Google Reader subscriptions
The information is apparently directly taken from the Google Profile pages of those users. If they have added the source it can be a source for the Social Circle results in the search engine.
The Social Circle is divided into direct connections, which are the users that the Google account owner has direct contact with and secondary connections which are public contacts of the direct connections. Each user is listed with a name, groups and content information
A path can be displayed that is showing how the information are linked to each contact and how each contact is linked to you (which for instance shows the direct contact of a secondary connection)
Your social circle is essentially a group of connections including these contacts:
- People in your Gmail (or Google Talk) chat list
- People in your Friends, Family, and Coworkers groups in your Google contacts
- People you’re publicly connected to through social services that you’ve listed in your Google profile, such as Twitter and FriendFeed
- People who are contacts of those in your immediate social circle
Is it possible to remove some contacts from being a source in the search results? According to Google it is only possible to remove direct contacts (by unfollowing them) but not secondary contacts. This can be cause for some trouble if a contact in the secondary contacts regularly spams the search engines.
You control who is part of your circle. If you want to add or remove someone from your social circle, here are your options:
- Add or remove the person from the social networks linked to your Google profile
- Add or remove links on your Google profile
- Add or block the person in your Gmail chat contact list
- Add or remove the person from your Friends, Family, or Coworkers groups in your Google contacts
Google has added a Social filter to the search options. This can be accessed by clicking on the Show Options link at the top of the search results which will open a sidebar menu. A click on Social will only display search results from the Social Circle.
The only option to not see Social Circle search results is to log out of the Google account (or avoid having a single direct connection linked to the account).
The Social Circle listing display a second tab for social content. This is the content produced by the user that might appear in the search results.
With social search, your friends can more easily find relevant content you create online, such as photos uploaded to Flickr or Picasa, blog posts, and status updates on FriendFeed or Twitter.
If you want to try it out for yourself you need a Google account, a Google profile and a few direct connections.
Continua a leggere – Original Link: Google Social Circle Now Appearing In Search Results