What is Google Social Search?

Google Social Search is an experimental feature that helps you find relevant public web content from people in your social circle, when you’re signed in to your Google Account.

With Social Search, you’ll be able to more easily find relevant public content from your social circle, such as the following:

  • Websites, blogs, public profiles, and other content linked from your friends’ Google profiles.
  • Web content, such as status updates, tweets, and reviews, from social services that your friends have listed in their Google profiles.
  • Relevant articles from your Google Reader subscriptions.

You can also filter your search results to only see results from people in your social circle. Here’s how:

  1. Click Show Options at the top of the search results page to open the Options panel.
  2. Click Social to filter your results.

If you don’t want to see social search results, you can simply sign out of your Google Account, or opt out of the Social Search experiment at any time. To opt out, visit https://www.google.com/experimental and click the Leave button for the experiment.

Your social circle consists of contacts from Gmail and sites listed in your Google profile.

The following people make up your social circle:

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

If someone you don’t know shows up in your social search results, it’s likely that they’re connected to someone you do know. Social Search includes results from public connections of your immediate social circle, since there’s a high likelihood that you know them as well. For example, if you’re following someone on Twitter, and that person is following five other people, those five other people are also included in your social circle.

Join the Social Search experiment at https://www.google.com/experimental

Maureen Heymans, Technical Lead, demonstrates the features of Google Social Search.