The latest in the war of words and apps between Google and the Rebel Alliance (FB, Myspace and Twitter as they’re commonly known) has seen the latter release an browser add-on powered by the ‘don’t be evil‘ code which shows how much Google+ alters results. The app is available from a site called Focus on the user.
This in response to Google’s use of its new social arm, Google+, to increasingly personalise results based people’s Google product use. It improves search results by doing the following according to Google’s blog:
- Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
- Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
- People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
The Rebel Alliance say, and prove with their new bookmark app, that this disproportionately favours Google+ results thus skewing the user’s choice in a way that is a far cry from Google’s PageRank principles which show above all else that which is popular first. Instead users are getting that which is Google first.
This is the latest in a divergence in Google’s principles which I also commented on in a former post in which Google has gone from a site which wanted to keep users there for as little time as possible to a site that wants to keep users full stop. Whether it’s evil or not I’m not sure but I think it’s very stupid to mess with something that has worked so very, very well up to now.
- Facebook, MySpace, Twitter expose Google’s ‘evil’ (go.theregister.com)
- Twitter and Facebook engineers create ‘Don’t Be Evil’ tool to alter Google’s controversial social results (9to5google.com)
- Evil, Greed, And Antitrust Aren’t Google’s Real Problems, Relevancy Is (pandodaily.com)
- New bookmarklet turns Google’s unofficial motto against… (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- Don’t be evil turns into Don’t be hypocriticial (restreaming.wordpress.com)