Google is turning up the volume on social networking content within its Internet search results.
The company unveiled some changes to its search engine on Thursday that will infuse search results with more social elements, such as links and information shared by your friends on services like Twitter, Quora and Flickr.
It’s easy to see how this improves search: If you’re looking for an accountant for instance, instead of simply getting a list of accountants’ Web sites, Google might include a snippet showing that your friend has posted a Twitter message lauding a particular accountant, and rank that accountant near the top of your search results.
There’s one conspicuous absence from Google’s social search though: Facebook, the world’s No.1 social networking service.
Google says the lack of Facebook content is due to the fact that most Facebook content is behind closed walls and can’t be indexed by its search engine. Google product management director Mike Cassidy said he could not comment on whether or not Google was in any discussions with Facebook about getting access to its trove of social data.