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Is social search a useful tool, or an invasion of privacy?

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Social Search is here to stay! Giving you search results based on the thoughts and opinions your friends and family is a logical concept, but this idea is based on a set of assumptions that may not always be true (for example, you may not like the same movies as your family). With this in mind, it does make sense that you are more likely to trust the thoughts and opinions of someone that you know over a stranger.

It’s a smart way to get personalised (and potentially more accurate) search results, and it’s no secret that the main search engines are all using social search in one way or another. Once we accept this fact, which is more accurate, or more likely to succeed?

Google has been using it since January 2010, and with the use of your Google profile and the concept of “my social circle”, it returns search results based on your social connections, and what they are saying online. Interestingly, as the online war between Google and Facebook continues, Google do not currently appear to be using Facebooks connections as part of their social circle. “While we’re interested to continue expanding the comprehensiveness of Social Search, we do not currently use your Facebook connections as part of Google Social Search”

Bing Change The Goal Posts

Social Search Is The Future

 

October 2010 brought the announcement that Bing have officially partnered with Facebook to bring your friends and family into your search experience. The Bing search results not only include the “likes” of your Facebook connections, it uses these “likes” to affects its results and display a site that it wouldn’t normally consider important enough.

Both Google and Bing require you to be logged into your own profile in order to tailor search results and will therefore be in a position to log all of your search activity. Some people will be happy to do this while others will be less than pleased to volunteer this information to “big brother”.

Social search is only going to become more important as time progresses. As each search engine discovers new methods of personalising and improving their search results, they will alter their algorithms accordingly, keeping everybody on their toes.

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!

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