Social Search, or stated differently, “the incorporation of social media elements into the search algorithm” have been experimentally evolving at a rapid pace over the past year.
One new feature, announced recently by the team at Bing, revolves around the idea that when you conduct research such as:
- What hotel should at stay at in Maui?
- What HD TV should I purchase?
- Is the movie Harry Potter 8 worth seeing?
…you are heavily influenced by your friends, and secondarily by the opinions of people you don’t know… this is more so than commercial sites or blog sites of people who professional review products… Of course not always, but in most cases you are unknowingly swayed by your friends.
So, in the search results, Bing will show you links that are endorsed (liked on Facebook, etc.) by your friends; as well as articles/pages that are like by people you don’t know (it will show you the number of times and who liked them).
Google, similarly, launched “+1” (plus one). Which enables you to perform similar tasks.
These two search engines are trying to rapidly deploy social search features to remain competitive and grow their market share. The results will be some interesting behaviors… the opinions of people you know will be more public and accessible… will that make you more or less likely to share your opinion?