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Google Rolling Out Social Search (in Labs)

There are two brass rings in search these days: real time and social. Google (and Bing) have been working on the real time thing with Twitter, and last week Google announced they were working on a Social Search option in Labs—and now it’s out.

With Social Search, Google finds relevant public content from your friends and contacts and highlights it for you at the bottom of your search results. When I do a simple query for [new york], Google Social Search includes my friend’s blog on the results page under the heading “Results from people in your social circle for New York.” I can also filter my results to see only content from my social circle by clicking “Show options” on the results page and clicking “Social.”

All of the info in Social Search is publicly available, but they highlight info based on their (massive data collection) information about you from:

  • Google profile contacts
  • Gmail contacts, chats and groups.
  • People you’re following on FriendFeed or Twitter
  • Feeds in your Google Reader

Matt Cutts is here to reassure us that this is perfectly okay:

Is it just me, or is it suddenly a little alarming how much information Google has about us? I’ve long maintained that my friends, as smart as they are, probably are not the best source for information, though they may be a good source for real-time or opinion-specific searches.

What do you think? Are you concerned about how much info Google has about you? Do you want your friends to provide the 1954 Mets’ stats?