Your Web History in Google Social Search Results

Posted on 16. Jun, 2011 by in Thoughts

While scouring the web for new content to consume, I noticed my pretty little face appear in the search results under a website I had just visited with a “You visited this page on…” message.

You Visited This Page Google annotation

I opt-in to Google Social Search, so I initially thought little of it. There are tons of Google experiments going on right now. Thinking harder. it suddenly dawned on me that Google could take my Web History, what websites I visit while signed-in and return them with my avatar and “Michael visited this page on…” message to my social connections search results. Exactly how shares in social search work now, but using data from my Web History instead of social profiles.

Strong Signal

Google suggest they use Web History to enhance (I think re-rank is a better word) their search results, but they’ve yet to include a users Web History into ones social search results. I haven’t seen this happen, and I doubt it does (…yet), but logically thinking, visits to a website are a far easier metric to gather and present than Google +1 values in terms of how to rank and present social search results.

+1 Extension – Google +1 could act as an extension of value, just like how Facebooks ‘Like’ button is to ones wall; you see a post, read it, but ones you have interest in e.g. ‘Like’, attain more value. You visit a website, you enjoy it so you +1 it.


I recently argued that there is not enough of the entire web ‘shared’ yet for Google’s algorithms to value ‘shares’ completely over links, but introduce Web History and social signals would dwarf links tenfold. There are all sorts of privacy woes with including Web history in social search, but Google’s solved that with opt-out. Do you think your Web History annotations will appear in your friends social search results anytime soon?

Tags: , , , ,