The future (?) of sharing is here: Google’s tweaked their Social Search function to show things that your friends have already written about or linked to. As you can see above, your buddy Matt Cutts just loves Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Now Google’s realized the digital world is all about social networking, and it’s turbo-powering the Social Search system so it’s not just an addendum anymore. Instead of being confined to one easily-overlooked block of results, Social Search matches will be sprinkled throughout your search query responses (which definitely increases their importance, although it may make them harder to identify). Google’s example is pretty straightforward: The new Social Search matches will appear “with annotations below the results they’ve shared or created. So if you’re thinking about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and your colleague Matt has written a blog post about his own experience, then we’ll bump up that post with a note and a picture.”
The other enhancement is to reveal where this result was shared online—via Twitter, Flickr or some other publicly-viewable means that Google can scan to detect that the sharing’s occurred…don’t worry if you share a link in a private direct message in Facebook, for example. This is a step up from the previous system, which could only reference a sharing via Google’s properties like public profiles.
It could lead to funny scenarios, like this one: Want to twist the knife in the back of your girlfriend/boyfriend’s ex? Write about your significant other on your blog, so that when the ex goes a-Googling like a weirdo, he/she will be doubly reminded that you’re the new love, and his/her life is awful. Ha ha ha! Or maybe that’s not a thing that can happen. Still, what if!