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Facebook, MySpace, Twitter expose Google's 'evil'

App fingers 'search results bias'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A gang of engineers from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter has released a new bookmarklet designed to expose how Google’s People & Pages service favours the ad giant’s own Google+ results at the expense of the rest of the web.

The Focus On the User group posted a video explaining how the Don’t Be Evil tool works - a reference to Google's old motto.

Once dragged onto a user’s bookmarks bar, it functions as a kind of search bar for the social web, unlike People & Pages, which as part of Google’s Search Plus Your World service only returns results from Google+.

This probably wouldn’t matter so much if Google+ had nearly as many users as Twitter and Facebook ... which as yet it doesn’t. At the last count, although rising, the social networking service had 90 million users.

What this basically comes down to is that users aren’t getting the kind of relevance in results they’d expect – or as Google always claims it provides. As Search Engine Land explains, Google also favours its home-grown social networking service in autocomplete results in Google Instant and in sitelinks on its search page.

Google, Facebook and Twitter have of course not been the best of pals since Google unveiled its latest attempt to crack the social networking market.

Google and Twitter had a ding dong earlier this month in fact, with Twitter complaining that favouring Google+ results would damage the internet, while Eric Schmidt argued that to get featured more regularly, Twitter, Facebook and others need to give the firm greater access to their data and indexes.

The Reg has emailed Google for a response but had not heard back at the time of writing. ®

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