Google has just launched a pre-beta version of Google Social Search that finds ratings, reviews and comments from people you personally know – specifically from people in your public social circle (respect, Google, social circle is a far better term than social graph/network).  It’s not linked up to stores yet, but you can see where this is going to go;  Google owning the start, the middle, and even the end of the customer journey.

click image to enlargeGoogle Social Search

Introductory demo video below from Google technical lead on the project Maureen Heymans, and a background video on how Google Social Search works.

Combined with the upcoming Google Wave (which will allow Realtime Reviews and Recommendations), and YouTube Direct (video reviews) Google is shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with in social commerce.