Google has announced that it is to roll out ‘social search’ in the UK next week. Until now the service was only available to US users on Google.com, but the service will rollout here on Monday and will support 19 additional languages too.
Social search – which has been available in the US since last year – combines normal search results with data collected from your friends on social networks. In this instance, ‘friends’ are also classed as people that are listed in Google channels such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Buzz or Google Reader.
This further underpins the importance of social media in terms of sharing and distributing content. It’s therefore a vital service for PRs and brands to be aware of and work into their ongoing social strategies.
This move can also be seen as a reaction to Microsoft’s announcement this week about increased integration between its Bing search engine and Facebook. A key challenge for Google will be to try to develop a closer relationship with Facebook to improve the effectiveness of results but, of course, we all know it is increasingly reticent of giving any ground to this particular web giant.