Last April Google launched a new Profiles service designed to give you more control over how your name shows up in search results. Now they're taking that information, mashing it up with your contacts' info, and pushing it into regular search results.
The video above offers a good explanation of how this might work in practice — as does this example from the Official Google Blog:
With Social Search, when we search for [baby sleep patterns] , [swaddling]or [best cribs] , not only do we get the usual websites with expert opinions, we also find relevant pages from our friends and contacts. For example, if one of my friends has written a blog where he talks about a great baby shop he found in Mountain View, this might appear in my social results. I could probably find other reviews, but my friend's blog is more relevant because I know and trust the author.
They've also added the social results to Google Image Search:
Now when you're doing a search on Images, you may start seeing pictures from people in your social circle. These are pictures that your friends and other contacts have published publicly to the web on photo-sharing sites like Picasa Web Albums and Flickr. Just like the other social results, social image results appear under a special heading called "Results from your social circle."
Seeing your friends' content popping up in your search results may be a little strange to begin with, but it does actually seem like a useful — and fun — tweak. What do you think? Like the idea of seeing what your friends have to say about subjects you're searching, or would you prefer those results stick to the vanilla results? Let's hear it in the comments.
Search is getting more social [Official Google Blog]