Some people like personalized search results based on their social connections. Some don’t. Google thrust Search Plus Your World upon users earlier this year, to mixed reviews. While it has an on/off toggle, it has littered search results with more content based on what people you may be connected via various social networks (like Google+ – not Facebook/Twitter) have shared.
Last week, I wrote a post asking if social is really a good signal for relevancy? My conclusion is that while it can help in some kinds of searches, is not necessarily helpful for all kinds. While knowing what hotel in Chicago my friend recommends might be useful to me, knowing which article about Mitt Romney he gave a thumbs up to, isn’t necessarily what I’m looking for.
Google sprinkles in these results, and social signals influence rankings. I’ve written about Wajam’s efforts in personalized/social search more favorably in the past. One thing that is very different about this, that it gives users a designated spot for these kinds of results. You can glance and see if there’s anything interesting there (plus includes Facebook/Twitter connections), but it doesn’t insert them where it thinks they are most relevant throughout the organic search results.
Today, Wajam announced a new version of its social experience for Google.
“Learning from hundreds of thousands of users who made hundreds of millions of searches, we redesigned the whole user experience and packaged it in a convenient, unobtrusive new design that removes clutter from your search results page,” says Wajam’s Alain Wong.
“The new design clearly breaks down number of results, organizing them by links, photos or videos, and lines up specific friends who have commented on the search term you searched,” adds Wong. “This gives you the ability to more easily filter results by specific friends, relevance or time.”
The new design is rolling out to users today.