Google weaves Larry Page's social strategy into Maps, Search

Nearly two years ago, CEO promised social would transform users' experience with Google. Here it comes

By , Computerworld |  Unified Communications

For instance, Google showed updated Maps that not only shows users where they are, or where they're going, but what restaurant their friends have tried in that neighborhood or what sites they or their friends have liked in the past.

"That's just a subtle way of making Maps super social," Blau said. "That Maps experience is a whole lot better when you integrate it with your life. Who do you know has been here? Have you been here before? Where is the party your friends are going to?"

It's much the same with search.

During the keynote, executives talked about the future of Google Search, where the search service offers information, based on your personal history, before you even ask for it. Search, they said, will serve you better when it knows you better.

This has been Page's plan.

"Suggestions based upon what friend and colleagues like is the most effective recommendations for categories like restaurants and movies," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "This requires tight integration between Google+, profiles, Search and Maps."

This social integration is likely to continue, added Moorhead.

"Google will ultimately provide deep social integration of every current and future service," he said. "A more social Google TV, shopping and music experience should be expected."

Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said Google definitely is weaving its social strategy into its products. The question is how users will feel about that.

"It is as yet unclear whether you'll accept all this social advice," said Enderle. "They have a massive amount of information on their customers... They are going to try to know more about you than you do. As a result, folks could find this more creepy than helpful, particularly when it comes to kids."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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