The cannons have been loaded and all the warriors are armed: ‘Social’ wars are definitely going to take over the internet industry by storm and present us with unexpected results. In an attempt to compete with Google’s “+1” button, Bing tied up with Facebook in order to provide the “Like” button along with the search results. Users who are logged in from their Facebook accounts have the option of liking the result directly from the results page. Both search engines are clearly aware of the importance of social factors in search results. The only difference is that you do not need to be logged in to your Google account in order to avail of the benefits of “+1”
Google claims that the search algorithm will not be affected by the number of “+1”s that a site receives. Therefore it will not have a direct impact on the rankings of a website. Although, this feature will definitely have an indirect impact owing to the fact that the number of “+1”s that a site receives will considerably increase its traffic and therefore have an impact on its overall ranking.
“Word of Mouth” might seem like an extremely haphazard way of influencing user decision, but let’s face it; it’s one of the most important ways in which people make buying choices. Let’s assume a user searches for the various types of cell phones within his budget. In this scenario it is often impossible for sites beyond the first page to get recognized or visited. The user will pick a site from the first page and make a decision. If the same scenario were to happen in Social Search it would be considerably different. Would a user pick a random site or one that his friends have “Liked” and recommended? The answer is simple: Social Search will definitely have a powerful impact on the search industry and make its presence felt as a way of providing even more relevant information to the users.