Social Search: Up Close With Google (Google Co-op)

Aug 7, 2006 - 5:32 pm 0 by

Chris Sherman seems to be the moderator for all the social sessions, which turned out to be huge. People are filling the rooms to here about social search. Now it is Google's turn. But it appears there is only one person representing social search from Google. To me, that makes sense, since (1) there are some good competing sessions and (2) they are not too much into social when compared to Yahoo!, IMO.

Sashi Seth from Google, to discuss the Google Co-op. The goal is to improve search, including personalization, better algorithms, and social elements.

What is Google Co-op? It is the algorithm of core web search plus a user base. Google Co-op is the next evolutionary step in search - extending the power of search by combining our algorithms with the context, knowledge and unique expertise of individuals. They are trying to make search more "contextual." He said, many of you may have seen this co-op results in refinements for health.

Two Products; (1) Subscribed Links and (2) Search Topics.

(1) Subscribed links: There are a number of special content and features built into Google search, such as currency conversion, movie show times, and stock quotes....

Features: Contextual information from other sources is displayed right at the top of the search results page: - Title that leads to information on content providers site - 3 Lines of text -- No images or UI Control -- 80 Characters per line -- Mixture of characters and URLs - Green background to differentiate from sponsored results

He shows some examples, including InStyle Magazine, Search Engine Watch and Digg, but he leaves off mine. Google Coop directory has more.

Anybody can build a subscribe link. Users subscribe to these subscribe links, they trust you. They can always unsubscribe.

Good subscribed links can be built; but what is best? Fresh, real time information is best. Target precisely, match those keyword phrases well. Make sure the content or link is "actionable," send them to the page they want right away. Try to make sure the content you control over the results are easy and pleasing to read.

(2) Search Topics: Create specialized search for your area of expertise or contribute to a Google Topic like health.

He shows a health related search that brings up the search refinements. It places several links, under categories, that enable you to refine those results. He shows the results on the page, labels, about the authors and the source are all displayed in the results.

Leveraging topics to address key needs in search include: - Query formulation, the refinements allow users to start with simple queries and refine using labels. - Lack of context, labels suggest ways to look for information. - Trust, attribution provides a way for users to bring their brand associations to search

Anyone can build a search topic, a vertical search. It works similar, users can subscribe to you as an entity and will get these search refinements. You are basically able to build your own search engine with this. But a tad more complex for the generation of the engine.

If you are passionate about a topic and want to improve the search experience in that topic, you can create a search topic. They can be accessed via the co-op profiles, you have control over the labels and the refinements. Quality can be improved incrementally. You can link to your profile page from your site or blog to promote it.

This benefits you by bringing more traffic and building of brand and trust to your company or person.

This content is close to real time, please excuse any typos and other errors in this content.


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