Google has taken yet another step in the direction of personalising the search experience for its users. With customised results based on browsing history already being served up to Google account holders, the popular search engine has announced that it is now tapping into social networks in a bid to provide ever more relevant results.

This means that, providing you are logged into your Google account, you should start to see additional listings in your standard search results in the form of tweets, comments, videos, blog posts and recommendations – all from those friends who are linked to you. The one major feature that is notable by its absence though is Facebook updates. However, with Google and Facebook still slugging it out in their own personal war for online dominance, each has already blocked the other from accessing various aspects of their respective services, so this latest slap in the face comes as no real surprise.

Nevertheless, what is more important is whether this recent change will prove to be a game changer for online marketers. For instance, which will become more valuable in the future – a link or a like?

It’s difficult to say at this stage, but one thing is apparent. Google clearly recognises the significance of the social web and the role it will play in online search; and despite being continually shunned by Facebook, it certainly has no intention of becoming a social outcast!