For the past year or so, Google has been testing "Social Search" where they displayed search results from your social contacts on Twitter and Facebook, YouTube and Flickr among other networks at the bottom of the search results.
Today, Google has announced that they will be going mainstream with social search and displaying results from your connected contacts in the main search results itself.
With the introduction of social search in results, users will start seeing results from people who have shared content in your social circle with an annotation that the results has been pulled by someone in your circle. The integration of social results in the search results will add more trust because you will know that it has been already been seen and shared by someone you know.
Google will also display notes under search results when a link has been shared on sites like Twitter or Facebook among other things so that you can easily see where your friends have shared the content previously.
We’ve given you more control over how you connect accounts, and made connecting accounts more convenient. You can still connect accounts publicly on your Google profile, but now we’ve added a new option to connect accounts privately in your Google Account. (After all, you may not want everyone to know you’re @spongebobsuperfan on Twitter.) In addition, if our algorithms find a public account that might be yours (for example, because the usernames are the same), we may invite you to connect your accounts right on the search results page and in your Google Account settings:
Google will also provide an option to connect accounts privately so that your super secret Twitter or Facebook account does not show up in social results, taking care of privacy concerns that might crop up due to this.
Google Social Search results will only be displayed when you have logged in with your Google account. Google will be rolling out the social results for English only users right now and they should start appearing in the coming week or so. You can watch the video for the new Google Social Search update to learn more about the new feature below. Click here if you can’t view it.