Mayer said users will be able to fill out a Google Profile, linking to their friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and other social networks. If they use Gmail, Google will have access to their contacts.
"You opt in to using Social Search and then we look at who your friends are and what content they might be publishing," she added.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, said this latest salvo in the search war between Google and Microsoft comes down to relevancy.
"Were one to connect to a social media site the other missed, it would create the impression that one was out of the loop," he said. "It's mostly image. Microsoft is aggressively trying to make Google look out of step and slow. Google is working frantically to assure Microsoft is not successful in this effort."
At the moment, Enderle said, it appears that Google is chasing Microsoft, and that situation typically does not bode well for any market leader. He added that it also suggests Google has lost focus on its core technology.
Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc., said he's not sure how excited people will be to search for status updates on Facebook, but it looks bad for Google to be without that connection.
"Even if it turns out that Facebook results aren't that important, the fact that Facebook is available through one search engine and not through the other will cause some Facebook users to at least try Bing," he said. "Google would prefer there not be a reason to give Bing a try."