Bing made a splash with integration of search results with Facebook ‘liked by’ friends links. Bing holds currently only 12% to 15% of search market, so as a business you might dismiss social networking only for nerds and restless young.
All along Google too had its stake in social search with a social circle link below search results since 2009. Now Google has made the social graph more important to organic search with its announcement on February 17, 2011 that links liked by your friends will be bumped up the search results. Your online circle is built by Google from the connections linked from your public Google profile, such as the people you’re following on Twitter or FriendFeed, Gmail contacts (this will include your chat buddies and contacts in your friends, family, and coworkers groups).
Social search results will now be blended with other organic results based on their relevance.
Annotation below the result will specify the friend or connection who either shared the link and mode of sharing, like tweet or created content in a blog or publishing on YouTube, Flickr or their own blog or website or posted a video on YouTube or a photo on Picasa. Annotation will be visible only to you, and only when you’re signed into Google account. There is a new option to that enables you to choose whether or not to show your connected accounts publicly on your Google profile.
Google images went social last year. When you search on Images, you will seeing pictures from people in your social circle, which have been published publicly to the web on photo-sharing sites like Picasa Web Albums and Flickr.
Google has a deal with Twitter for full access. It has access to Flickr and Quora content as well. What takes away the fizz is that your social data in Facebook is not integrated. After all Facebook is the most important social networking platform. Maybe some in near future, Google and Facebook may cozy up.
Clearly, as a business owner, you cannot be unsocial. If you have not done so, dress up and start making your presence felt in all social media platforms. Add buttons on your website to share on Twitter and other platforms. Make it easy for people to share your content from website and company blog.