As promised at the Web 2.0 Summit last week, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has introduced a new Google Labs experiement called Google Social Search, a way to find online content authored by friends and personal contacts using a Google search.To try it out, visit Google Labs and click the designated button to join the Social Search experiment.Google Social Search requires you to be signed in to your Google Account. It integrates blog posts and other online information authored by friends and associates into Google search results.Google looks for people in your Gmail or Google Talk contacts lists, Google Reader articles, people linked to through your Google Profile — from sites like Twitter and FriendFeed — and people listed in Google Contacts. Then it includes posts and commentary written by these people, when appropriate and relevant, in your Google searches.
In a blog post explaining the new Social Search exeriment, Google technical lead Maureen Heymans and Google product manager Murali Viswanathan emphasize that this isn’t some new form of privacy invasion. “All the information that appears as part of Google Social Search is published publicly on the Web — you can find it without Social Search if you really want to,” they said. “What we’ve done is surface that content together in one single place to make your results more relevant.”
Google Social Search also provides a way to see only search results from one’s social circle.