martinibuster - 9:02 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)
TechCrunk published a good article and interview [techcrunch.com] with Mike Cassidy, Google's Product Management Director of Search about Social Search Integration.
This part is interesting because it reflects on the evolution of citations, the heart of Google's algorithm. When first conceived, citations were done with links. However the web has changed and so have the way citations are made. Instead of links from blogs and other personal or business sites, people are sharing links from social sites like twitter, Yelp, Flickr, etc. The nature of citations have changed.
"There’s a lot more sharing than creating going on on the web," Cassidy says. In fact, he said that something like 100 million times a day people are sharing links that Google sees...
That is an interesting wrinkle on the concept of CITATIONS, which is the heart of PageRank, counting how many citations (links) a page of content receives to determine it's importance. Since people share more than they create web pages, Google apparently is counting these shares as citations, although in a different way. Citations are the heart of the algorithm and I don't think enough attention is paid to citations outside of traditional links.
Here's more from that article on the topic of non-traditional citations:
So is Google using social signals to alter the actual results? Yes and no. In some cases they are, in some cases they’re not, Cassidy says. He declined to get into specifics, noting that it was a part of their special sauce. But he did say that there are several things that the algorithm now takes into account from a social perspective on top of all the other more traditional signals.