Google’s Social Search is not just an experiment, it’s now mainstream. People are already seeing different search results now that Google is plugging results based on the individual’s social circle into any given SERP. This is another way search engine optimization is changing and many businesses are looking to get some play in Google Search.

Google is thinking that if users connect to certain people, results from those will have relevance because you know and trust them. Google says, “You can improve social search results for your friends and contacts by linking to content you have created such as blogs, photos and videos on your Google profile.”

“We’ve been having a lot of fun with Social Search. It’s baby season here on our team — two of us just had little ones, and a third is on the way,” the company says in the announcement. “We’re all getting ready to be parents for the first time and we have lots of questions. So, what do we do? We search Google, of course! With Social Search, when we search for [baby sleep patterns], [swaddling] or [best cribs], not only do we get the usual websites with expert opinions, we also find relevant pages from our friends and contacts. For example, if one of my friends has written a blog where he talks about a great baby shop he found in Mountain View, this might appear in my social results. I could probably find other reviews, but my friend’s blog is more relevant because I know and trust the author.”

Appearing in social search results means:

1. Make sure you have all of your important links on your Google Profile.

2. Make as many connections as possible.

3. Encourage customers to follow you via social networks.

4. Participate in social media so people will engage with you.

5. Encourage sharing of content (there are plenty available social media buttons)

6. Include social network info on business cards/signage, etc.

7. Include social network info in your online advertising

8. There are probably many more worthwhile tips.

Google’s social search doesn’t end with just regular web search. They will add it to image search. A lot more features will be part of the social search as Google leaves that Beta tag on.

Google is making many moves during the last few years that it’s slowly turning into its own social network. Now that profiles have a direct impact on search results, how people view Google will change in a big way. Once people realize the social features being integrated into everyday searches, they’ll find themselves using Google as more of a social tool, as opposed to just a search tool.