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Google Labs To Add "Social Search"

   
12:51 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google Labs To Add "Social Search" [news.cnet.com]
Google Vice President Marissa Mayer made a surprise announcement at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday: "Social Search," a new Google Labs experiment that will bring in search results from a member's social-network contact circle.

It'll be launching as an opt-in project in the next few weeks. Then, you'll need to have a Google account and set up a Google Profile to fill in information about the social networks that you use. Google first launched Profiles about a year ago.

"What we've done here is inserted, on the bottom of the page, content written by people in your social network," Mayer said, adding that Google hopes this will "really improve the overall relevance, comprehensiveness, and quality" of search results. A search for a local restaurant, for example, could bring up your friends' Yelp reviews for the same establishment. A search for travel destinations could bring up a post from a friend's blog.

3:25 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am not sure my friends generate that much content to make any improvements to the serps for me. This is probably true for most people out there. IMHO this will be discontinued at some point in the near future.
4:39 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Think in logical terms how it will be used in future , imagine result like

Story ....Its birthday of your girlfriend Emma and you are searching some gifts for her online using your favorite engine. And While searching gifts online you land up on page which is for some vodka for her..

And here comes Google , the Dr. Love :) .....with his suggestion ( i suppose Google is guy :) )

Your friend Emma likes red wine...and you are buying vodka for her?

And on the side Google Adwords ads relevant to interests of Emma

What will you take ? Vodka or Red Wine? :)

....and while your are still online on shopping website....Google suggesting....oh yes Birthday of your ex girlfriend this weekend....should i suggest you some of her favorite dress to order gifts for her?

7:35 am on Oct 23, 2009 (gmt 0)



It'll be launching as an opt-in project in the next few weeks. Then, you'll need to have a Google account and set up a Google Profile to fill in information about the social networks that you use. Google first launched Profiles about a year ago.

Is it JUST ME that thinks this is insidious? How on earth can Yahoo's beacon face legal challenges about tracking and privacy issues, when Google sails into a system which systemically tags every social profile to a unique ID?

Wasn't the openID project designed to stop the impending civil liberties trainwreck?

Yep... I'll sign up - it's my job - but if I was a politician I would feel a problem growing.

7:36 pm on Oct 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Here is a video of Marissa's presentation and demo:

[youtube.com...]

3:13 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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not interested in marissas presentation. i resist signing up social networks. don't want filthy corporate fingers reaching out for me. i only have my own websites. intimacy, you know..
4:35 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is it JUST ME that thinks this is insidious?

Perhaps now we can talk about Google's "big brother" issues without it being labeled "Google Noise"?

Of course, its insidious!

And I would love to rant about how the "slippery slope" has already gathered enough self-propelled momentum...
but it's now time that others start speaking up..
And quickly!

The warning signs have been around for several years now for those who have eyes to see.
Not enough people complained loud enough and now we have this.

Not only a couple months ago, we talked about how Google wanted to be like the Adverts in "Minority Report"
always in your face,
always personalized to your preferences.

There was ANOTHER reason I mentioned that movie.
I wonder what it was...

10:26 pm on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This development comes on top of a lot of other personal data collection at Google - and those things have me much more concerned about privacy abuse that this one does.

For this type of social search to kick, in you need to be intentionally opted in through many layers.

  • First, you need to be logged into your Google account.
  • Second, you need to have set up a Google profile.
  • Finally, that profile needs to register your other social media profiles with Google.
No one who has jumped through those hoops can say that they didn't know they were giving data to Google. You might as well volunteer to have an RFID chip implanted in your skull, and then cry "I didn't know".
2:47 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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^ you'd be suprised at how most of the users can't connect the dots.
9:15 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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users can't connect the dots.

Indeed. Just the other day, I was explaining to someone how Google has all these various pieces working together.

I even used that exact phrase "connect the dots"

But it's like discussing politics.
You'd think I had called their mothers an unflattering name from the reaction I got from those listening to the conversation.

Especially considering the people most likely to use this service... 16-25 year old who don't have a care in the world.
Why WOULD they "connect the dots"?
The world's their oyster.

Unfortunately, the people i was having the conversation with were all over 35. (and supposedly "well-informed")
Sooo.... what does that tell ya?

10:20 pm on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It is live now, at [google.com...]
3:08 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I have the same feeling as Receptional. Google can work out my social circle by crawling existing sites, but the difference here is that I will be nominating specific sites instead of having a number of not-really-my-friends in those lists.

My Twitter follow list suffices as my list of people who say things of interest to me.

12:57 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There are a number of issues here.

Firstly, the concept is a good one if it's used in a business sense. Social Business could be a winner.

From a personal perspective, as Tedster, Receptional and others have stated, it's a worrying trend. It used to be you'd only need a Google Account. Now you need a Google Profile, too. Assuming a person goes for this, which i'm sure they will, all those posts made on social sites are now going to be linked and easily found.

It raises more questions about information collation and control within an organisation. Furthermore, what controls are in place to secure this?

I really think this is all becoming a step too far along a rocky road, and we should all be concerned, not just about this, but where privacy and security is headed.

7:03 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



As whitenight points out, young people might be particularly vulnerable, and many older folks are unaware as well. There was a recent discussion on NPR about privacy which reported that people are much more likely to reveal personal information on "friendly" type sites. Look at the pages of some of the kids you know to see how true this is.

Some years back, AOL released a lot of "anonymous" search information for hundreds of thousands of users...

AOL "Angry & Upset" After Releasing Search Data
[webmasterworld.com...]

It was surprisingly easy, it turned out, to identify searchers even with this so-called anonymous information.

Information collecting has come a long way since then. The triangulation that social networking search will permit is more than a little bit frightening. It's interesting to see by the ads how much Facebook is beginning to know about you just by who your friends and groups are.

With "Social Search", attitudes about politics, personal attititudes, business relationships... information that's out there and freely given... would now be collated with "private" search data, data-mined for whatever (and eventually available to whom?). And Google's likely to be much better at extracting information than Facebook is.

10:53 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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In this regard, for a website operator to do what Google would like to "connect the social dots" would seem to be equivalent to painting a big red bullseye on my naked back while I run sockless with greased feet. No thanks I think.
10:58 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Haven't gotten a google profile. Now, more reasons not to.