Google has recently started running a new search engine experiment that provides "shared by" and "recent updates" links to Twitter tweets and Facebook and MySpace status updates for some popular queries.
Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan saw the shared by feature when he searched for "Tom Bosley," the patriarch of the family on "Happy Days," who passed away Oct. 19.
Clicking on shared by links next to stories whisks some users to the Google's real-time search engine Web page.
The result lists Twitter accounts and Facebook and MySpace posts from where the link was shared, as well as Google Trends timelines that show when the story was hot or cold.
Curiously, I also saw the shared by link for "Tom Bosley" yesterday, but it was gone today, showing just how fleeting the real-time updates are.
In its place was a "recent updates" link that took me to the Google real-time search Web page Danny saw and showed the results from users who shared the stories on the topic via Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
In another example that worked, today I searched for "Chilean miners rescue" and saw this list of shared posts when I clicked on a shared by link next to this Christian Science Monitor report.
Far be it from me to judge a company's entire social strategy from one feature, but this isn't the type of thing that is going to make a huge impact for Google, helping it steal queries from Twitter and Facebook and the like.
Certainly not anymore than Microsoft's Bing integration with Facebook will help it gain share versus Google.
I would rather see the links, posts and tweets from the original sources, or what I call inception points of network quality.
Facebook, Twitter and MySpace all, at different points in their timelines built up reputations as inception points for quality social networking. More people=better network. Isn't that a law somewhere? :)
Neither Bing nor Google has this.
I suppose Google's approach could be a great news-gathering technique, the sort of real-time news aggregator that replaces RSS feeds such as Google Reader. Twitter has done this already for a number of users.
But it, I believe, is an interesting example of the "layered" social approach Google has committed to offering its 1 billion searchers. Why create a new real-time search network when Google can aggregate all of the popular social feeds?
That's a smart use of resources, once deal to acquire the feeds is made, but again it's not game-changer.
Feel free to disagree.