Google Social Search

Google Social Search has now launched. An experiment from Google Labs, Social Search is one of four experimental options you can add to your regular search settings. (You may select only one of the four.)

From the Features page:

Google Social Search is an experimental feature that enables you to find relevant public web content from people in your social circle, when you’re signed in to your Google Account. For example, search for [ restaurants ], and restaurant reviews by your friends and other contacts may appear more prominently in your results.

I ran the suggested search — “restaurants” — and selected “social” from the Options menu that now appears at the upper left of all results pages. My results seem to be from a “social circle” formed from the blogs I’m subscribed to in Google Reader.

Again from the Features page:

The following people make up your social circle:

  • People you’re connected to through social services, such as Twitter and FriendFeed, that you’ve listed in your Google profile.
  • People in your Gmail (or Google Talk) chat list.
  • People in your Friends, Family, and Coworkers contact groups for Google.

It seems that it doesn’t draw directly from your Twitter data, and that you have to add that to your Google Profile if you want the people you follow to be part of the circle.

I’ve yet to try this out in a law context: I thought I’d beef up my Google Profile first. Let us know if you’ve found a way to make this new feature useful to practitioners.

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