To learn more about Google Social Search, also see our What Is Google Social Search page.

How Facebook Enables The Google Social “Scraping” It’s Upset About

facebook-logo-featured I wrote a very long examination of the issues that Facebook employed a PR firm to publicize, about how Facebook feels Google may be violating privacy with its Google Social Search product. Here's a shorter look, especially from the angle of how Facebook itself has enabled Google to do what Facebook is now complaining about. Facebook said this about Google, in its statement from my original article: We wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles [...]

Examining Facebook’s “Smear Campaign” Concerns About Google Social Circles

Google & Facebook, Sitting In A Logo I read the news today, oh boy. The Facebook army had just declared a war. Well, a smear campaign against Google. For the record, Facebook denies that it actually ran such a campaign, but it does confirm it has issues with how Google is using some of Facebook's social data. Do those allegations stand up? Let's take a look. The required prerequisite reading is the Daily Beast article talking about the PR campaign that Facebook attempted. Also see reactions to the news in this Techmeme roundup. Let's start with the allegations. I emailed over to Facebook: So I read the Daily Beast article. [...]

Don’t Expect A Big Social Announcement At Google I/O 2011

io icon The Google I/O developers conference has turned into an event where people anticipate big announcements about forthcoming Google products. But at Google I/O 2011 next week, don't expect Google to rollout a shiny new social network. Expect little to do with social at all. That's the word from a source close to Google. There will be no major social announcement coming. Google apparently wants to set expectations appropriately after months of rumors that something would be coming. Sniff, No Social Circles? No Video Conferencing? What rumors? Back in March, Google Preparing To Launch Social " [...]

Reports: Google CEO Page Ties Bonuses To Social Success, Reorganizes Google Mgmt. Team

larry-page-144wide 2011 bonuses for Google employees are reportedly being tied to how well the company fares in its efforts to integrate social elements across Google products. That's according to two reports from Silicon Alley Insider -- reports that say the news first spread in a company-wide memo last Friday from co-founder (and now new CEO) Larry Page. There are also reports tonight that Page has promoted a half-dozen Google execs to new senior vice president roles; more on that below. SAI has published a screenshot that it says is an internal Google FAQ describing a "2011 Multiplier" affecting employe [...]

Google’s +1 A Potential Boon To Paid Search Marketers

google-adwords-plusone-featured For an in-depth overview of Google's new +1 extension of social search, see Danny Sullivan's Meet +1: Google’s Answer To The Facebook Like Button. In addition, Matt McGee has written How To Get Google +1 Buttons For Your Website for publishers interested in adding the new button. Danny's article briefly discusses how +1 will be used in conjunction with AdWords. I was able to speak to Google this afternoon about paid search and +1 and get a bit more detail. +1 Ads Should See a CTR Lift According to Christian Oestlien, Google's Group Product Manager for Ads, +1 will appear on all Google s [...]

Meet +1: Google’s Answer To The Facebook Like Button

google-plusone-featured Nearly a year after Facebook Like buttons spread out across the web, Google has announced its own rival, the +1 button. It launches today as part of Google's search engine, allowing you to "+1" the search results and ads that you like. And in a few months, it'll be arriving at a web site near you. Is +1 (pronounced "Plus One") part of the new social network that Google's long been rumored to be building? Or is +1 simply that "social layer" that Google has said would come and isn't really meant as a rival to Facebook? Yes. Come along -- let's see how it works now, where it might go, an [...]

Google Preparing To Launch Social “Circles” — Or Maybe Not

There's lots of buzzing and posting this morning based on a couple of tweets from Tim O'Reilly and Steve Case. They state that "Google Circles" (which is "awesome") is going to launch "possibly today." (See updates below.) ReadWriteWeb has a lengthy discussion of the reportedly impending product launch. It's based largely on hearsay but here are the main bullets from that post: The service will offer photo, video and status message sharing Everything shared on Circles is shared "only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts [...]

Google’s Search Results Get More Social; Twitter As The New Facebook “Like”

Your friends' activity on Twitter, Flickr and elsewhere -- but for now, not Facebook -- will soon be a lot more visible in Google's search results, including having an impact on how pages rank. Google has announced an expansion of its Google Social Search results that's beginning to roll out today on Here's a look at what's new: Social Search Blended Into "Regular" Results Prior to today's announcement, Social Search results -- which Google introduced in October 2009 -- only appeared at the bottom of a search results page or after clicking the "Social" filter in the left-side col [...]

Google Buys Twitter Sentiment Analyzer fflick To Support “Contextual Discovery”

Google has acquired fflick, according to TechCrunch. The price is reportedly $10 million. Is it a talent acquisition, a tool acquisition or both? It's both. Using Twitter, the fflick service analyzes and organizes comments about movies: overall, most recent, positive, what your friends have said and so on. This is a very interesting service and it's easy to see why Google might want it. Google developed recommendations service HotPot to help improve Local (after the failed attempt to acquire Yelp). And Google has been doing a kind of sentiment analysis of restaurant reviews on Place [...]

Google’s New Social Project Is … A Toolbar? Yawn.

Google Me. Google Emerald Sea. Google +1. Those are some of the names thought to be in play for Google's much hyped, discussed, and anticipated social project. Maybe "overhyped" is the right word because, if TechCrunch got its hands on a real screenshot (and it appears they did), it's just a toolbar with a "share" button. A toolbar? With a share button? That's Google's big social project? Well, just a couple months ago, CEO Eric Schmidt did clarify that Google was working on adding a social "layer" to its products, not on a specific social product. And a toolbar certainly qualif [...]

Google’s New Social Sitelinks

Google is now showing social search related results in the Sitelinks section of the search results. The social sitelink includes your friend’s name, profile photo, and it links to your friend's content on a particular website. For example, if I search for [twitter] on Google, I see Robert Scoble (scobleizer), Steve Rubel (steverubel), Israeli Consulate (israelconsulate) and Matt Cutts (mattcutts) in my Sitelinks. Here is a picture: Google explained these social sitelinks come from their Google Social Search technology. [...]

Google Me: Is It Really Named Emerald Sea Or Google +1?

The subject of "Google Me" has been discussed and debated and picked apart at length already. It's already tired and the "product" hasn't even launched. A new round of rumor and speculation has emerged from Quora (and TechCrunch). The supposed internal-testing name for Google Me was reported to be "Emerald City" but is now actually, supposedly, "Emerald Sea." But wait, it could also be called "Google + 1" and be a toolbar or browser extension that will try and duplicate the function of Facebook's Like. It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma -- or rather that was Russia. H [...]

What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count?

Both Google and Bing have added many social search features over the past year. There's also been talk about using "social signals" to help rank regular search results. But are either of the major search engines actually using those social signals to rank regular search results? A bit, they tell me. In particular, your stature on Twitter could help influence how a page ranks in web search. I gave Bing and Google six questions about how they use social data from Twitter and Facebook. In particular, I wanted to know how that data influenced regular web search results, not the impact it ha [...]

Report: Google’s Social Network Project Delayed Due To Internal Debates

Mashable reports Google has delayed their social networking platformed, rumored to be Google Me, until Spring 2011. It was expected to be out in 2010 or early 2011, but that has been pushed back to do delays. Mashable said they have a source that said the delay is due to internal "disagrement" about the "design, purpose and execution of the project." Their source told them the delay was caused by "tales of disorganization and too many different teams working parallel or in conflict." The project lead is said to be Vic Gundotra, Vice President, Engineering at Google. "We’re a [...]

Official: Google Adding More & Fresher Tweets To Social Search

Google Social Search -- the service that adds content from your social circle to a search results page -- appears to be getting an increase in tweets. And fresher tweets, at that. Social Search relies on what Google knows about your friends and connections (via your Google profile, Google Reader account, etc.) and sometimes shows content from your circle at the bottom of a search results page. That content has, for the most part, been very heavy on articles and blog posts. But here's what I saw not long ago on a search for [google places]: That top piece of content is a tweet earlier [...]

Schmidt: Listing Google’s 200 Ranking Factors Would Reveal Business Secrets

Google's been under fire in various quarters, including the New York Times, that it should open up about how its ranking algorithm works. I think offering the exact formula would be difficult plus potentially give away trade secrets. But how about just listing some of the basic "ingredients?" Nope, said Google CEO Eric Schmidt, this week. You can watch Schmidt's answer below. It came during a lunchtime meeting with reporters at the Google Zeitgeist conference on Tuesday. The exchange is as follows: Sullivan: You say that you have like these 200 factors, why not at least just list them? [...]

Report: Google To Leverage Other Social Networks To Make Itself More Social

The unconfirmed "Google Me" appears not to be a product per se rather a placeholder for a broader social strategy. According to reports coming out of Google Zeitgeist (Danny's there so he can expand on this) Google is going to integrate a "social layer" into more and more of its products over time. According to Reuters: Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told reporters on Tuesday the Internet search leader intends to work in "layers" of social networking to its sites, rather than unveil a flashy product. To propel that effort, he intends to sustain its pace of acquisitions. "We're trying to t [...]

Apple vs. Google Part Deux: Social Networks And The “Battle For The Living Room”

Most of Apple's announcements yesterday were anticipated. Still there were a few surprises; for example the specifics of the iTunes-based social network Ping, as well as the pricing of Apple TV 2.0 ($99). Apple pre-empted Google to some degree with both products. Business Insider does a nice job of contrasting the two TV initiatives and their differing strategies. In a nutshell, Google wants to bring the internet to the living room in all its unruly glory, while Apple is bringing a more elegant and limited version of internet content to TV. Apple TV is mostly focused on professional enterta [...]

Angstro Buy, Shopping, Gaming Investments Point To Multi-Pronged Google Social Strategy

Last week Google acquired Angstro. The site has been described as a way to discover and organize information about individuals across various professional networks. Here's how Angstro describes itself: Ångströ represents the ability to hone in on highly focused, relevant news across professional networks. Where search engines such as Google and other news aggregator services have immense infrastructures that return a huge array of random results, Ångströ analyses a wide breadth of information from multiple data sources to deliver very few, yet very intelligent results. The pundit consens [...]

Google Social Search, Now With Google Buzz

Google Social Search, which shows content from those in your social circle, is now tapping into a new source of knowing what your friends are writing about, sharing and creating: Google Buzz. Remind Me: What's Google Social Search? For those unfamiliar with Google Social Search, it launched across all of Google in January, after initially rolling out as an experiment last October. When you're signed in to Google, the service shows matching web pages and other content on the topic of your search that's created by your friends or others that Google has determined that you're "connected" [...]

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