Ever wanted more control over your Google searches?  Perhaps filter and highlight relevant information from your network of friends, family, colleagues, and online contacts.   Basically, have the ability to filter out a lot of the noise and take advantage of the knowledge of your network.  I sure do.  Well, this new beta release of Google Social Search is intended to do just that.

By releasing the facilities to enable social networking search, Google is adding more purpose to all of the various social communities being created online.  You can quickly setup a profile and link social content. Let’s say you’re in the market for a new Gibson Les Paul guitar.  Traditionally, you may go to Google and do a random search for “Gibson Les Paul” guitars (or some variation).  You may get results from Gibson, Guitar Center, eBay, Craigslist, and many other distributors.  Ok, that’s great… but wouldn’t it be cool to instantly search your network of musical friends who may have some personal insight or photos uploaded right from the Google search results page?  You could interact with your contacts directly to answer basic questions that they may have already experienced.  See for yourself at google.com/profiles

While this is an early release, certainly there is a lot of future potential… especially as more people embrace the various social networking tools.  It allows integration with blogs, Picasa, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  I just gave it a test drive… pretty slick.  The video to the right gives a nice brief overview.