Hidden Services on Google Social Search

by James Slater
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

I know I’m a bit behind the times with this one, it’s been a few weeks since Google announced changes to the way they integrate social results with normal search results. In the process, they added the ability to publically or privately link your Google profile with accounts on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter and Yelp. There’s an exciting screenshot below.

Google Connected Accounts

Now, what self respecting geek would fail to notice that when you select “Flickr” and type in an account name, the page doesn’t send “Flickr” back to the server, it sends back a number – 18. If you choose “Facebook” it sends back 5. In numerical order, the list looks like this:

Twitter 3
Facebook 5
LinkedIn 9
Quora 16
Yelp 17
Flickr 18

That raises the obvious question: What do the numbers in between do?

The short answer is, some of them let you link other services to your Google account than are listed above. Some of them do nothing. I’ve come up with the following, so far:

- 1
MySpace 2
Twitter 3
Hi5 4
Facebook 5
- 6
Microsoft 7
Aol 8
LinkedIn 9
Foursquare 10
Digg 11
Plaxo 12
Wretch 13
- 14
- 15
Quora 16
Yelp 17
Flickr 18
GitHub 19

The missing ones just came up with an error when I tried them. Others appear to ‘work’ but end up adding a link to the wrong URL, like Foursquare. Does adding any of them to your profile actually achieve anything? Who knows. They do appear in the list though, as shown below.

Google Connected Accounts (Bonus!)

Anyway, don’t just take my word for it. I wrote a Greasemonkey script to add extra options to the menu on the page – you can see part of the result in the screenshot above. If you’ve got the Greasemonkey extension for Firefox or Greasemetal for Chrome, you can download the script here.

If you try the above link in Chrome, it might try to install the script as a standard Chrome “user script”. That won’t work. Well, it will install and appear to work fine, but due to the, er, rapid way the script was developed it won’t work. I’ve packaged it up as a plain – no other extensions needed – Chrome extension here.

Once you have installed either, visit https://profiles.google.com/connectedaccounts in your chosen browser. The script will only be active on that exact URL. You should see a number of extra options under the “Connect an account” list. Once you have added any of these ‘new’ services, feel free to remove or disable the extension – it should only be needed to initially show you the other services. Once you have added them to your profile, even if they don’t do anything today, perhaps you might get to see them doing something before anyone else. Who knows!

If you can fill in any of the blanks, see any of them having an effect in a Google search, or care to speculate what some of the items on the list might mean, please leave a comment below. I’m especially intrigued by the inclusion of GitHub, myself…

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