In October 2009, Google announced their social search feature and it got a ton of buzz. A few months later they rolled it into the main stream search results via the left hand navigation and a social box element, normally at the bottom of the search results.
But Google knows it is not enough. We know Google uses some elements of social factors for ranking these days but again, limited.
In a BusinessWeek article, on page 3, the article talks about a Google +1 project. The article said:
Gundotra won't say much about the initiative. Two sources familiar with it, who asked not to be named because the project is not yet public, confirm that it is tentatively called Google +1 and that it is designed to cull data about relationships among users from current services such as Gmail and YouTube. Google will then let users share material through those connections, while using the information to make other products more social. Search results may be skewed toward pages that your friends found useful—for instance, a Google Maps query for nearby Italian restaurants could return one that was positively reviewed by someone you know.
Gundotra won't comment, but Page hints that Google's social network plans will offer more refined privacy protections. "You see tremendous controversy around [social networks] today, with people being worried: Am I sharing stuff with the right people or not?" Page says. "I think there's a long, long way to go to make these systems do what people need."
The question is, will this be enough? Will this effort tell people Google doesn't have to worry about Facebook or Bing? I don't know but I am sure this is a top priority for Google.