Download the “bookmarklet” released today by an ad-hoc group of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace, and you might get better search results from Google.
Last week, Google announced that information from its fledgling social network, Google+, would be surfaced in its search results all while effectively suppressing data from other competing, and much more popular, networks. Google claims the suppression (unfair censoring?) is unavoidable because it could not adequately index data from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn due to their reluctance to publicly share all their data.
Understandably, the folks behind the other networks — which do actually supply a significant amount of public data — were miffed. But they took quick, and pointed, action. The bookmarklet that’s now available, and which has Google’s famous motto for its name, “Don’t Be Evil,” uses Google’s own search capacities to demonstrate how the current setup of data suppression is avoidable, after all, and how the dominant force in search is using its brute force to manipulate results in a way that serves its own interests.
If you want to use the tool, go to http://www.focusontheuser.org/ and download it.
So far, only one name from the group of engineers is known: Blake Ross, a co-founder of Firefox who’s currently Facebook’s Director of Product.