While everybody is talking about content farms right now, most people seem to overlook the far more important change that took place recently: Google has incorporated social search results right into the regular ones.
Until now they displayed searches by your Twitter, FriendFeed or Google Buzz friends below the regular organic results. These changes are even more profound; I can’t explain them in a few short sentences. What’s clear though is that for power users who have a Google account, there has been another important layer of personalisation added.
The rankings differ significantly when logged in and out. For instance I see shared results for the keyword [seo] on #3 and #5, while they are usually #5 and #7 behind the Google News results. Compare the two screenshots below, the logged in version comes first.
Social search is not just Google though. Google is late to the party. There have been several first generation social search engines around since 2009 or earlier, but most of them haven’t survived or only offer a poor user experience and search quality. On the other hand there are plenty of new tools out there – not necessarily search engines as we know them – that offer unmatched social search capabilities.
Last but not least, Bing and Blekko offer Facebook search, which Google does not. So it’s time to dig deeper into search, both from an end user and an SEO specialist perspective. Thus I have compiled one of my infamous lists: 30 Social Search Tools & SEO Resources for Power Users.