With social networking dominated by Facebook and Google’s Search Engine supremacy, what will happen with this new and rapidly arising frontier of Social Search? Before going into the core issue let’s understand what is Social Search? Basically social search is a way of searching the web in which your contacts, likes and other personal information is taken into account while providing results for a particular search query i.e. the pages you like, the bookmarks you share, the content you tag, will determine the results you get for a search query.
Currently the results that Google displays for your search query is generated by established algorithmic approaches in which the relevance is determined by taking into account every text in the document and by how the links are structured. The page rank algorithm is a very big reason why Google is the best search engine around. And recently Google has tried to enter the social networking market with Google Plus. The success of Google Plus as a social medium is being questioned by many and this might be one reason as to why Google may not succeed much with Social Search.
The basis of Social search is the social graph of a person but with Google Plus being a newbie as compared to the well established Facebook, Google entering the social search market might not make a huge difference. As of now when entering a search query on Google, the result that one gets is the most relevant out of a huge chunk of indexed websites data in the order of the website having the most adequate, extensive data which is search engine optimized. This was to change with the +1 social feature that Google introduced but has no bearing as of now given that the +1 usage itself had not achieved any great numbers.
On the contrary Microsoft Bing which is Google’s main competitor has probably taken its first step to challenging Google by partnering with Facebook for social search. Bing is taking the right approach into social search by linking you to people who can help you with your search query. By introducing a sidebar, Bing lets you share, discover and converse with friends, real time. The combo is working together so that as you search you can get help from Facebook friends by tagging them. Bing also suggests friends who might know about your query based on FB likes, profile and photos. Quite interesting isn’t it!
Bing identifies for you the experts and enthusiasts of your search query from other leading networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus (how ironic) etc. Activity feed lets you know about real time posts, queries and answers in both Bing and FB. Also the sidebar is non intrusive and you can decide whether you want to social search. Thus Facebook with over 900 million users and their personal database and Bing being a reasonably good search engine the Bing-Facebook combination can prove to be more successful in the social search frontier.