It knows my Twitter network, of course, and that's helpful for search results (someone I follow on Twitter blogging about some arcane JRuby tidbit I'm searching for is great).
If this is what Google's leaning on for their new social graph stuff, though, they're in trouble: it knew very little about my real-life friends. In other words, the friends that Facebook knows about. You can't glean that from Gmail contacts necessarily, since I don't really use email for that type of correspondence. If they really do want to flesh out a social graph of their own to combat Facebook, they have to roll their own social network. Maybe it's coming, maybe it's not; I just think they're only getting part of the picture right now.
My Facebook network is not my real social network. It mostly contains people i know, not the ones i interact with. My real social network is in my Android powered phone. I am waiting for a better merge with the contacts on my phone and the rest of social circles.
128 Direct connections that include all of my close friends.
121 Direct connections from links... which duplicate some of my close friends and then contain a load of bogus entries I don't recognise. These are all based on Flickr apparently.
3905 Secondary connections that do contain acquaintances, some good friends and lots of people I don't recognise.
It didn't do a bad job, but given that I use Google Chat and Calendar to organise stuff, that I use Google Contacts because of Android and that I have a lot of history in Google (email loaded from 1996) I'm not surprised that they have such a complete picture.
Edit: Just read up on it... it's figured out so much as I'd added sites to my Google Profile and it's followed those to determine the rest.
Google is missing the thing that Facebook does well here, "identifying real people".  When I looked at the "Friends" google identified it was really just connections I'd made with Twitter, flickr and various other services. Very few I'd met or consider a friend. Parsing data to find friends isn't as good as being sucked into the human "social graph".
Identifying real people is a core concept at Facebook. and something they have got right (identity) and google will find difficult to replicate.
Good point I hadn't considered the real purpose of the service. But one thing I can't understand is why google - the kings of simple - want to include such messy data? When I see "do more" I smell failure.
So, my questions are will this be used to alter search results - eg this person is well connected in this field and regularly visits these domains, hence we'll add a bit of authority to those domains? Seems they should probably try it.
Also are they using meta data like XFN and microformats to garner some of the data or is it just internal Google social links?
Yeah... I just stumbled on that recently (like 5 minutes before) in a google search was doing. Wild. Too bad google seems to really only know one of my connections and all that they are linked to. Also too bad that that connection is really a weak one to me.
Mine are a bunch of restaurants, again all through one primary connection.
Considering that I am the ONLY person on Facebook with my firstname/lastname, and that my 522 Facebook friends are publicly accessible, how and why is Google not indexing Facebook? Is it just a matter of pride?