Tweets to Start Shaping Google Search Results

A major change to the way you search the web is about to unfold right there in your Google search results. The company is going to begin privileging content your friends have interacted with.

In a lot of ways, this makes good sense. If one of your connections has shared a webpage on Facebook Twitter, one can assume that you'll be more interested in it than a similar story a friend hasn't shared. It portends a world of very personalized search results where your social graph (as the nerds call it) is as important as the innards of the content itself in determining what you see when you search.

Search Engine Land explains:

In some cases, Google will simply be annotating results with a social search indicator, says Google's Mike Cassidy, Product Management Director for Search. Google's traditional ranking algorithms will determine where a listing should appear, but the listing may be enhanced to reflect any social element to it.

In other cases, the social search element will change a page's ranking -- making it appear higher than "normal." This, I should add, is a personalized feature based on an individual's relationships. The ranking impact will be different based on how strong your connections are, and different people will see different results.

In some ways, this is a further extension of Google Personalized Search, even though it is separate from that.

Read the full story at Search Engine Land.

UPDATE: Google emailed to note that they do not currently use Facebook likes in their social search data, but if I had to guess, I'd say it's only a matter of time before they do.

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