Google’s 2010 social search patent

Go straight to the patent: US20110106895

This approach is very different from the earlier search
model of using authority as a measure of trust. In a
document-based world (such as the early days of
the Internet when only web pages existed), trust was
measured by how credible a document was. The
credibility was measured by how many citations (links)
a web page received. This is why link building is such
an important aspect of SEO. Web pages need links to
improve their credibility or “trust” in the eyes of the search
engines. This, in turn, improves their rankings.

But, as the patent states, in a social environment, you
don’t measure trust by authority; instead, you measure it
by intimacy. For example, if a family member recommends
a good restaurant, you’re more likely to believe them than
an anonymous reviewer online. That’s because you know
your family member, and because of that relationship/
closeness, you have trust.

Social search represents considerable opportunity for
search engines because they want to deliver more
personalized search results. But in order to do so, they
need to understand who you know and how well you
know them. Tapping into your online social signals allows
them to do just that.

Here’s a reminder of what Google said about social search in 2011:

Revolution 2.0 is coming soon to a store near you

Check out this event at the journo-driven Frontline Club on the 1st of Feb:

“Named one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people, Wael Ghonim, is credited with having sparked Egypt’s revolution with a Facebook page he dedicated to a victim of the regime’s violence.

“The ‘We are all Khaled Said’ Facebook page that he created after the young man’s brutal murder and torture by police in Alexandria became such a focal point of the uprising that Ghonim was imprisoned for 11 days. The former Google executive will be talking to Ben Hammersley, Wired UK’s, editor at large about the revolution and the role of technology in mobilising people to take to the streets.

“He will also be bringing us up to date with what’s been happening since the jubilant celebrations a year ago and his work since he left Google in April this year. Wael Ghonim’s new book Revolution 2.0 is published by Fourth Estate on 17 January.”

As side note I saw someone tweet that the 2011 crop of revolutions were not especially significant, or words to that effect. However, political changes in the Middle East over the ages can be disproportionately influential, imho.