With Google’s recent re-launch of social media based results, engineers from MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have created an open-source plugin as proof that Google is prioritizing its own Google+ results in search, moving away from the original mission of being a neutral directory of search on the Web.
The plugin alters Google’s new search results that showcase Google+, the goal of the plugin being to include social media from a variety of social networks such as Quora, Myspace, Foursquare, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.
The tool doesn’t use any third party data or APIs, instead it uses Google’s own search algorithm to present social media links that are most relevant to the search query. These results are present in three positions where Google+ results are presently featured: the search auto-complete bar, the showcase box for “people and pages” and the search pages themselves. The plugin reworks the on-page elements, allowing you to conduct a Google search that will present true social media content.
Of course there are cases where Google+ profiles will still be the most relevant in search, but in the majority of cases older and more authoritative pages will be presented, such as a celebrity’s Facebook page or an established Twitter account.
As written on the plugin’s website, engineers are hoping that the tool proves that with the new “upgrade” Google has created to present results, more generic searchers for things such as music or movies are wrongly prioritizing Google+ results over content that is more relevant.
For example, if you do a search for “Facebook”, Google will return a link to Mark Zuckerberg’s empty Google+ profile. Probably not what people are looking for.
While the plugin is collaborative and is not an official product of MySpace, Twitter or Facebook, the engineers express views that mirror sentiments that were raised upon Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launch – the feature that they claim has fractured the search ecosystem.
Twitter was the first to make a criticizing statement about the move. In response to criticism surrounding Search, Plus Your World, Google stated that they would be willing to work with social networks to allow a user’s social information to also be present in search results. However, Google has also said that they require business agreements in order to gain access to the networks in order to use the data – something that has been proved false through using Google’s own indexed data for the plugin. The plugin never goes outside of Google.com to gather information, including access to 3rd party servers or APIs. All information presented has already been indexed by Google.