Google announces social search products

Google introduced three new products today during its press day in Mountain View. The new product launches are part of Google’s refocus on its search and advertising business after an internal audit showed an overcommitment of resources to auxiliary products such as Blogger and Gmail.

Google Co-op introduces social recommendations and tagging to the search process. You can “subscribe” to a friend or data provider’s content to receive a special OneBox with information from these companies or individuals. It’s similar to Google’s Enterprise OneBox and its partner experience combined with personal subscriptions. Users can also can add tags to a URL direct from the search result page. The product is similar to Yahoo!’s My Web 2.0 search product.

Google Desktop version 4 is now available and includes the ability to customize your sidebar or desktop using Google Gadgets. The gadgets are able to respond to activity in other applications such as reading an RSS feed or composing an e-mail. The desktop SDK supports .Net, Java, Python, Perl, JavaScript, and VBScript. Gadget content can persist across machines as well as on your personalized Google homepage. The sidebar supports notification alerts in the taskbar and highlights content you might be interested in at the top of the sidebar. The recommendations could easily become a revenue generator for Google with advertising added to the top of the sidebar.

Google Trends is an on-demand zeitgeist of Google search activity complete with graphs, related terms, and popular click-throughs. The product is most similar to Overture’s keyword selector tool or Yahoo! Buzz with a direct application to Google’s ability to estimate search traffic for a specific term or topic. The trends tool provides geographic data, allowing users to see search activity from around the globe.

Google Notebook places a small JavaScript scratchpad on every Google result page or any other page on the web. You can enter information while you browse, including links and images. Google Notebook can be part of a shared research experience as you invite more friends to participate in your research. Google Notebook will be available starting next week.

All of the products except Trends work best when you are signed-in using your Google account, providing Google with more personally identifiable information and leading to better advertising leads and therefore higher CPCs.