Who does Google know that you know?

This link will show you who Google knows that you know.
[It] is the network of connections Google uses to identify relevant social search results. It is based on a combination of the following:

• Direct connections from your Google chat buddies and contacts
• Direct connections from links that appear on your Google profile
• Secondary connections that are publicly associated with your direct connections

In addition to web pages from your social circle, posts from your Google Reader subscriptions may also appear in your social search results.

(via Ethan Zuckerman)


    1. They’re not “in league” with them they invested in the same future predicting company among other players.

      And it’s “Don’t do evil”

      1. A lot of ex-NSA spooks work at Google. They know a lot about search algorithms. Presumably, some of them are not as EX spook as they claim.

  1. i can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that i only get one person on the list when i click that link.

    1. Same here. Having only one name makes the app look lame. But I think it’s a good thing that I have more real friends than I have Google “friends”

  2. This is what should appear there:
    “Your social circle as determined by Google is currently a blank slate.”

    Happy 1984!

  3. “Your social circle as determined by Google is currently a blank slate.”

    Google doesn’t know about me and that’s okay with me. xD

  4. “Your social circle as determined by Google is currently a blank slate.”

    YES! I am a blank! Jack Blank!

  5. Wait, Google knows I know many more people than 5 listed by that app right? I mean, how do my contacts work? Are my contacts stored in my browser? I am so confused now. Wait, did my contacts get deleted by that link you posted?

  6. This is nothing new, this is expected. To see my link was interesting though. It left much to my imagination, plenty of people there I know little about anyhow. So let them Spy, its the loose lips that sink the ships :D

  7. if you google me as “edthehippie” ( all one word ) , almost half of the listings are links to my boingboing posts , the other half are mainly links to my daz studio renderings . does that make this posting formally recursive or just de-facto ? what does soylent google taste like anyway ??

  8. It can find 3 people linked ‘to me’: my husband (amazing…) and two friends I haven’t seen in over 6 years.

    Linkedin does a bit better job (300+ more).
    Facebook would do a better job too but I don’t like bots.

  9. ok , i am a bit of a hermit , i have no friends – – – and , circular references are not the same as true recursion – – and , soylent google prolly tastes a lot like soylent alta vista , only fresher and with more parsley and a hint of cilantro

  10. Given that I have a personal blog and reveal tons of personal info all the time on all sorts of sites, I am surprised that Google only links me to two people, which is not even close to everyone on my Google chat contacts list. I’m not worried the know too much, I am concerned they are not doing as much as they could!

  11. As it should be, the link just asks me to make a profile.

    Given that it wouldn’t be the first time an online company initially states it isn’t doing anything with the data it gleans to then start trying to sell data for revenue, I’ve kept well away from google aps.

  12. Now that’s strange… besides seven names under chat contacts, I have nothing, and one of the chat contacts is a name I’ve never even seen before. How does that happen?

  13. I don’t understand why more people don’t use their real names, aside of course from when repetition means they have to add a number or symbol or whatever. I do so in an attempt to ensure that I don’t hide behind anonymity and therefore maybe post nasty or plain insulting comments. One day, when my identity has been stolen and traduced, that understanding will come but until then I shall continue as I have always done (well, since perhaps year two of my regular internet usage).

  14. Google lists the four people I’ve used Gmail chat with. If that’s an evil conspiracy, they’ve hired the wrong spooks.

  15. Only 6 real friends and none of them have a Google profile. None of my picasa or youtube friends are on the list, since I’ve de-linked them. I’m cool with it.

  16. Had any of you used Google Sets a few years back (like 2004 or so)? It was simpler in its source of data and rather powerful.

    It creates general sets of information based on info you put in. For instance, “Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton” would return a set including something like “Robert Oppenheimer, Nikola Tesla, Stephen Hawking”.

    However, this also worked for current people like you and me. I submitted a few friends’ names, and it came back with a whole list of people, some I didn’t know but a lot I did! It seemed to be able take info from some google database or search system and distinguish not only the parts of speech and tense, but also proper names! And I could tell those names weren’t just from a single source page, so it had to have gathered the info

    But that Labs project has since been dumbed down.

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