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Google’s “Don’t be evil” put to test with Search+

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Google Search+ Comparison

About two weeks ago when Google launched Search plus Your World, we wrote an article noting that what was really worrying was not anti-trust lawsuits or the war of words that ensued between the search giant and Twitter. More worrying was Google’s betrayal of the trust that we the users have in it to deliver the best search results.

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A lot of visitors commenting on the story disagreed with us. Some even suggested Google was the victim here and it was only acting to protect its business. Quite true.

Well, as the internet turns more heat on Search plus Your World, some engineers from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have taken it upon themselves (well, with the blessing of their respective companies) to demonstrate via a new “Don’t be evil” toolbar just how Search+ heavily compromises Google search results. The toolbar basically shows you the results you would get if Google+ didn’t get any undue promotion. Here’s an excerpt from their explanation of the tool:

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When you search for “cooking” today, Google decides that renowned chef Jamie Oliver is a relevant social result. That makes sense. But rather than linking to Jamie’s Twitter profile, which is updated daily, Google links to his Google+ profile, which was last updated nearly two months ago. Is Google’s relevance algorithm simply misguided?

No. If you search Google for Jamie Oliver directly, his Twitter profile is the first social result that appears. His abandoned Google+ profile doesn’t even appear on the first page of results. When Google’s engineers are allowed to focus purely on relevancy, they get it right.

Google Search+ Comparison

New tech blog, PandoDaily, has an article too on the issue titled Google: Do Yourself a Favor and Just Come Clean Already. The author argues strongly that Google has made a significant departure from its founding philosophy of search neutrality.


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