Monday, March 08, 2010

Google Social Search – Do We Need It?

Other day I signed into Google and was searching in Google images for “Phoenix”. What I saw in the first page of the results surprised me. I saw some of my photos and my friends (see below) that I never uploaded anywhere but one of my friends uploaded a few months back.

Later I understood that the reason for photos of mine and my friends coming up in the first page of the search result was because when you do a search in Google it looks into your “Social Circle” and pulls out all the public photos posted by your “Social circle”. This is what Google has to say about “Social Circle”-

This is the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results. It is based on a combination of the following:

  • Direct connections from your Google chat buddies and contacts
  • Direct connections from links listed on your Google profile such as Twitter and FriendFeed
  • Secondary connections that are publicly associated with your direct connections

In addition to web pages from your social circle, posts from your Google Reader subscriptions may also appear in your social search results.

Here is a video that explains what this Google Social Search is all about.

I went into my social circle and was able to find so many photos of my “social circle” that I have access to. The scary part is the secondary connections. Most of them I don’t know but I could see the stuff that they are sharing since I happened to have a common friend. It is true that you can set the privacy and all but you in this modern age of internet no one can ever be sure of what all information of you reaches other people.

Does this feature of Google really enhance the search results as claimed by Google? Or this is another failed experiment from Google like Google Buzz or Google Wave?

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Blogger jpk said...

I think we should be careful with what we post as public. We should post only pictures that are intended for all audience even if we want only our friends to see.

March 08, 2010 5:01 PM  

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