Social Search

If you could hone your Google search results based on what your friends have been reading, would you choose to do that? In a recent article on Tech Crunch, Erick Schonfield looked at the possibility of social search for Facebook, and a recent app called Sidestripe, which is an add-on widget for Google search and also a Facebook app. He thinks social search would be very valuable for both Facebook and Google.

I think he is very definitely right, but it would more likely work using a Google account holder’s Gmail contacts rather than their Facebook contacts. The reason is that Google has access to the search records for every contact in your account with a Gmail address, which could be combined with your own search history and personal preferences to personalise your results further.  I think we will be seeing “social” search results in the very near future which are personalised based on what your friends have been reading and visiting frequently, which of course opens up all kinds of problems with respect to privacy. Do you own your search history, or your own reading history?