Last week Google and Bing announced they were going to start indexing Twitter in their search engines; today Google's releasing its Google Social Search experiment in Google Labs to incorporate relevant content—like tweets—in your results based on your social circle.
Here's how they're planning to make it all work:
Your friends and contacts are a key part of your life online. Most people on the web today make social connections and publish web content in many different ways, including blogs, status updates and tweets. This translates to a public social web of content that has special relevance to each person. Unfortunately, that information isn't always very easy to find in one simple place. That's why today we're rolling out a new experiment on Google Labs called Google Social Search that helps you find more relevant public content from your broader social circle.It should be available for everyone to try by the end of the day, so be sure to check back.
As you can see from the video, the content Google indexes in their social search is defined by your network of contacts and what they put in their public Google Profiles. So far the social circle results don't seem to be that impressive for my group (and I'd guess my network has adopted Google Profiles more than most), but if enough people beefed up their Google Profiles, it certainly could add an interesting and useful level of personalisation to search results.
Right now, if you want to use social search as your default, you'll need to head to Google Labs' experimental search page and join the Google Social Search experiment. If you give it a try, let's hear what you think in the comments.