Searching on the Web has long been dominated by linking static content to other static content. Google has led the charge in allowing you to find any piece of information out there. But what search engines have missed out on is the link between connections and content. Often, people are more interested in the people who post information rather than the information itself.
Making this critical connection is the idea behind social search. Here are some of the bigger players in social search and what they are doing to enhance your search.
Facebook Graph Search – Facebook’s recent addition of this feature combines both the ability to search for content that your friends have shared as well as being able to use natural search query language. For instance, you can type, “Restaurants in New York City my friends have been to” and you will get an appropriate result.
Bing Social Search – Well before Facebook unveiled their social search, Microsoft’s search engine used Facebook data in its searches. Since then, Bing added some good features, including showing Foursquare tips, recent and trending tweets from Twitter, and showing results from popular Q&A site Quora.
– As king of search engines, Google released their social search in early 2012, integrating results from its social network Google+ to help personalize your search experience. Some don’t like it, though.
What are your thoughts on social search? Have you found it easy to use or hard to adjust? Do you prefer search results the old way (non-social) or do you enjoy the next wave of search?