A lot of major search engines are starting to include a social search initiative that incorporates a user’s social network activity to garner customized search results. These results are in no way being contrived to replace standard search results; they are more or less being presented to users to assist them with their search by providing them with information that has been tailored according to preferences of the people that they know. Social search results can act as a personal referral between consumers. It could help users gain confidence in businesses, restaurants, new sources, stores and other services because they can easily see that a friend or acquaintance vouches for the credibility of a site that appeared on their social search results.
Incorporating Social Search
Blekko is one of the search engines that is really embracing social search and making it a part of its regular functionality. Blekko isn’t becoming more dependent on social search results; instead, it’s integrating search results into its selection of additional features that extend beyond basic search engine functionality, in order to give users a more personalized experience while they search.
In fact, a new feature that they are offering in their social services will actually include Facebook comments and status updates from a user’s social network that are relevant to the search query that they have entered into Blekko. The Facebook integration that Blekko has incorporated into their search experience even allows users to respond directly through Facebook to comments that have appeared in their social search query and will even show you the entire conversation thread of their post or comment. It provides usability that synchronizes with communication to create an impressive social search experience.
Social search might not be on the top priority list for every search engine on the web, but Blekko seems confident that it is going to be something that users are going to identify with and become passionate about. The big names in search, like Google, might not be putting a lot into social search because they are more focused on providing search results that are based on more refined algorithms and hard data, but with the increasing popularity of social media, Blekko might be trying to carve out a niche in the search world that will help them capture a larger portion of the search market.