Regardless of where you stand on the Google+ integration into Google search results, this site is an eye opener for what it returns, and who's behind it.
Complete with an Orwellian name!
How much better would social search be if Google surfaced results from all across the web? The results speak for themselves. We created a tool that uses Google’s own relevance measure—the ranking of their organic search results—to determine what social content should appear in the areas where Google+ results are currently hardcoded.
Now in Google's defence, they claimed on Google+ that they couldn't perform the same (or similar) thing themselves because Twitter (and presumably Facebook, etc) had closed access to their silos. Right?
All of the information in this demo comes from Google itself, and all of the ranking decisions are made by Google’s own algorithms. No other services or APIs are accessed.
Now I don't see Google+ as being a credible threat. I also still don't trust Facebook, and feel like they're playing politics here by capitalising on the stumbling of an opponent. As a service Google singled out to make an example of, you can bet the folks at Twitter also relished the opportunity to design the service.
Despite all these caveats, the results speak for themselves. Google could implement this, no question.
What's most breathtaking about this is Google did something that Facebook, Twitter and the like couldn't do: unite them. Seemingly Google didn't get the divide and conquer memo.
Not to pound a dead horse here, but I keep coming back to my theory that marketers and managers now run Google, not its otherwise talented engineers. This is clearly not a technical issue, it's a matter of PR and priorities.