The press has been speculating since the middle of last year about a new social networking product from Google — its big attempt to compete with Facebook, SocialBeat reports. Now, some recent upgrades to Google products suggest that the company is advancing with its social plans and may be laying the groundwork for the big launch. The main news was Google’s update of its social search service, a feature that has been relatively underwhelming until now — it allowed users to share and annotate links, but Google literally marginalized the feature by pushing it to the bottom of the search results. Starting now, however, Google said social results will be mixed into the rest of its links, making them more prominent. Google is also improving those annotations by pulling in content from other social networking services — for example you can see when one of your friends has tweeted about a link…

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura