Google Expanding Social Search?

I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Google’s social search. Unless Google knows something about your social network, then the few suggestions it offers are pretty useless. In most cases, Google knows little about you – unless you are one of the three avid Google Buzz users in the world!

Last night I was at home. I was signed in using an account I don’t use very much, mostly used as a spam trap. The account is markbaa AT gmail dot com.

I did a search and was very surprised to see this in the results:

“Want to see which results your friends are talking about? Are you markbaa?”.

That was a link to my twitter profile, offering to link it to my login. Google doesn’t know much about the markbaa gmail account as I rarely use it. So it’s either just lucky guessing – same name, or something super clever.I also use markbaa for my linked in profile and facebook profile. Why didn’t it suggest these as well? Still under development and I stumbled on an early test?

I asked around the First Rate office, no one else had seen this. So either it is a test (more likely), or it has to have a very high confidence threshold before making the recommendation.

If they roll this out en masse, could be that Google Social Search actually becomes useful!

Mark Baartse, Consulting Director, First Rate Australia.