Google is going all out to encourage the use of social networking and to learn how people actually use the Internet to find what they are looking for. As I mentioned in my previous article on Google Changes, the use of SEO should be focused more on providing quality, interesting, human centred content, than on catering to the search engines.
As such Google has recently launched a 'friend connect' gadget to encourage people to use websites more socially. Although in Beta at the moment, it's worth pointing out that if Google is encouraging us all to become more social, if she is actively looking to use what she finds in the social networks in the published search results, then this is something you had better take notice of if you want your site to continue to rank well in the search engines.
I'd be interested to know what others think of this new shift towards social ranking as opposed to site ranking. From a non techie, I think it can only be good news.