How to Control Google Social Search Results

On February 17, 2011, Google expanded its Social Search results so that you see which listings have been shared by your friends through services like Twitter and Quora. In some cases, those listings will rank higher.[1] While some people might enjoy socially filtered results, others may prefer leaving their friends' opinions out of it. This article will show you how to optimize Social Search results. To completely avoid Social Search, see How to Opt out of Google Social Search.


  1. Image titled Control Google Social Search Results Step 1
    Log in to Google and review your social circle: This page shows all the people you are connected to. That means that their activity will influence your search results.
    • To remove people who you are connected to as contacts, edit your contacts list here: (This is useful if you have a lot of contacts, for example through work, who aren't your friends and whose opinions you don't want affecting your search results.)
    • To add new people:
      • add them to the "Friends", "Family", or "Coworkers" group in your Google contacts
      • follow your friends in Google Reader or Buzz
  2. Image titled Control Google Social Search Results Step 2
  3. Image titled Control Google Social Search Results Step 3
    Scroll down to the links section. Type the URL and name of a social profile you'd like to influence your search results, and click "Add". When friends on that service share a link, that will be noted if that link shows up in your results, and that link might rank higher.
    • Note that as of February 17, 2011, your search results cannot be influenced by Facebook likes.
  4. Image titled Control Google Social Search Results Step 4
    To control whether a link to that profile shows up on your Google profile, or to remove a link from your profile, press "Edit".
    • To remove that profile, press "Remove link".
    • To hide the link on your profile, uncheck the box that says "This is a profile page about me." Click "Done". Now that profile won't show up on your Google profile (in case you have an embarrassing Twitter username, for example). To double check, scroll down after the links section and record your Google profile URL. Log out of Google and view your profile anonymously. The profile that you unchecked the box for should not be shown.

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