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First, social search results will now be mixed throughout your results based on their relevance (in the past they only appeared at the bottom)
Second, we've made Social Search more comprehensive by adding notes for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites.
Third, we've added a new option to connect accounts privately in your Google Account. (After all, you may not want everyone to know you're @spongebobsuperfan on Twitter.)
In addition, if our algorithms find a public account that might be yours (for example, because the usernames are the same), we may invite you to connect your accounts right on the search results page and in your Google Account settings.
[edited by: tedster at 8:21 pm (utc) on Feb 17, 2011]
Perhaps it's only me but I don't think I've ever found a "social" post useful when searching for something :-/
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But relevance isn’t just about pages—it’s also about relationships.
[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 6:57 am (utc) on Feb 18, 2011]
"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...
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.
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.
whats to stop me creating a 'Tweet farm', similar to a link farm, that tweets and retweets each others content, spins it as it goes, and drops links back to my site?