Social Search Improves Your Search Results 44% Of The Time

March 6th, 2012 | by alainwong

posted in Big Data, Search, Social Search

In the last year, social search has been prominently featured in the press and in the blogosphere, with good reason. Many are attempting to solve this need; Google jumped in with Search Plus Your World, tied to their Google+ network; Microsoft Bing has deals in place with both Facebook and Twitter to add social signals from these platforms to its search engine. However, Wajam is the only search that takes results from Facebook, Twitter and Google Search Plus and organizes them into prominent social search results when conducting regular searches through favorite search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo or sites such as TripAdvisor, Ebay, YouTube or Amazon.

In articles written on the subject, analysts have focused on the common sense qualitative reasons as to why recommendations from your friends may be more useful to you than traditional search results. There’s the trust factor. But what about quantitative results? What are the numbers validating the usefulness of social search?

We’ve compiled observations and statistics from Wajam users to explore the data side of social search, and here’s a first glimpse at our results.

How Useful Is Social Search, Really?

The first question we asked ourselves: what percentage of searches have social search results?

Percentage of searches that have a social search result

From our data, you can see that in 44% of queries, Wajam delivered social search results. In other words, your regular searches are enhanced by results from your friends almost half of the time, bringing added value from your trusted network of friends.

The Type of Friends You Have MATTERS

Next, we examined the relationship between the number of friends a user has and the percentage of searches with social search results.

Search results correlation with number of friends

Clearly, the more friends you have, the greater the likelihood that you’ll have a social search result.

However, this is far from a perfect correlation as the data is widely dispersed. Indeed, some people with relatively few friends have many results, while some people with lots of friends have few results.

Conclusion? The type of friends you have matters more than the amount of friends you have, proving once again that the old adage of quality over quantity still holds true.

We’ll go further into depth in a future post on what type of friends matter most for your collective knowledge.

How Many Social Search Results Should You Expect?

Finally, how many social results will you get when you perform a search?

How many social search results should I expect

This histogram shows you the percentage of searches that has a given number of social search results. For example, 16.82% of searches with social results had just 1 social search result. Put optimistically, this means that 83% of the time, you’ll have more than one social search result!

These insights come from thousands of users who perform searches using the Wajam social search engine, and show the potential and promise of social search as a way to tap into the knowledge of your friends when you need it the most.

Wajam Lets You Tap Into Your Friends’ Knowledge

The Google index took two years to reach the one billion mark. We’ve indexed one billion pieces of social content in half that time, and we’re giving you access to this data when you need it.

Just to frame yourself around how much social knowledge is out there:

Combine these two stats, and we’re talking about over 300 pieces of content shared with you per day, just on Facebook. All of this knowledge is lost unless you can search through the data and filter out the noise.

Try out Wajam today.

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