Twitter, Facebook, MySpace engineers use Google’s own algorithm to build a better social search
Much has been said about Google Search plus Your World, a new feature which places a whole lot of Google+ in your search results. Twitter even made a public statement in which they expressed their concern over the new feature, saying that it was “bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.”
Twitter gave a few examples of just why they’re so concerned, and in a comprehensive post, Search Engine Land points to all the ways that other social networks including Facebook and Twitter are losing out with the new system, primarily, with all of the top spots in your Google search results going to Google+ pages.
The new feature has now been included in the antitrust probe, but, depending on how you look at it, some users are still left with skewed search results.
Some engineers from Twitter, joined by their Facebook and MySpace peers have decided to do a little more than just speak out against the new feature. Heading over to the aptly named site, Focus on the User, by installing a bookmarklet, you suddenly have access to a whole range of new search results using Google’s own search engine. The bookmarklet comes with the rather loaded name, ‘Don’t be evil’.
Explaining a little bit about the tool, the homepage reads:
How much better would social search be if Google surfaced results from all across the web? The results speak for themselves. We created a tool that uses Google’s own relevance measure—the ranking of their organic search results—to determine what social content should appear in the areas where Google+ results are currently hardcoded.All of the information in this demo comes from Google itself, and all of the ranking decisions are made by Google’s own algorithms. No other services or APIs are accessed.
To use the site, all you have to do is perform a search as you normally would on Google, and then hit the ‘Don’t be evil’ bookmarklet, and you’ll receive a whole new set of results.
Searching for The Next Web, for example, using Google’s search engine placed Google+ at the top of the results.
Hitting the Don’t be Evil button popped Google+ down to third spot, with Twitter making its way up the results ladder.
To find out more about the project, check out the FAQs and to see Focus on the User in action, check out the video below: