Google just announced a big upgrade to its social search feature.With Social Search, Google takes a look at your public activity on networks like Flickr, Twitter, even Quora, to deliver relevant results based on what you, or your friends have shared.
Sounds good, but there’s one problem — Google doesn’t have data from Facebook, which is the most popular social network in the world, and the place where most people a lot of link and photo sharing.
Asked about Facebook, Google told TechCrunch, “We’re focused on sites where it’s relatively easy to crawl for data.” In other words, Facebook won’t play nice and let Google use its data.
In the very long run this could be a problem. If Facebook can provide clear signals to a search engine on what people are looking for, then Bing could have a major leg up.
It’s unclear if it will ever really matter though, and Google’s engineers tend to dismiss the idea. Google search exec Amit Singhal recently said, “Social is just one signal. It’s a tiny signal.”