No, Facebook didn’t create a search product to compete with Google, but a group of engineers from Facebook, as well as Twitter and Myspace, collaborated on a tool that they are calling Don’t Be Evil.
Search Engine Land has the nitty-gritty behind Don’t Be Evil, a bookmarklet for web browsers that alters three components of Google search in order to ensure that results from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks appear alongside those from Google Plus.
Don’t Be Evil is available for download via the Focus on the User website, by clicking on the button labeled, “Try a More Relevant Google,” and dragging the resulting “Don’t Be Evil” button into the browser toolbar.
The tool alters three components of Google search, numbered below.
1. People and Pages on Google Plus
The Google Search Plus Your World results currently offer only results from Google Plus, ignoring other social networks, despite the fact that search subjects may be better represented on other social network.
Don’t Be Evil changes people and pages on Google Plus to people and pages from the social web, and it incorporates links to relevant pages on all social networks, rather than exclusively for Google Plus.
Rather than simply listing Google Plus pages first in search results, or determining the order in which they are listed by the number of likes or followers, Don’t Be Evil lets the main Google search engine make the decision.
Search Engine Land offers the example of Snoop Dogg, where the hip-hop artist’s Twitter account is the first one listed, followed by his Myspace page and Facebook page, and Don’t Be Evil stays true to that order.
The blog also mentions a flaw: Katy Perry will never appear as a music suggestion, because she doesn’t have a Google Plus page.
Don’t Be Evil checks for links from the following social networks:
- CrunchBase (Search Engine Land doesn’t consider this a social network, and we agree)
- Google Plus
- Stack Overflow
2. Google Plus Suggestions In Auto-Complete
Similar to the issue with Google Search Plus Your World, auto-complete automatically populates the search box with results that favor Google, such as auto-filling the Google Plus page for Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, rather than her Facebook page, which is clearly more relevant and updated on a regular basis. Don’t Be Evil performs the same task outlined above for site links, ensuring that the most relevant result in the main Google search engine appears first.
3. Google Plus Site Links
Take the indented listings that appear under main Google Search Plus Your World listings, and apply the same problems mentioned above. Site links currently pull the last two posts on subjects’ Google Plus pages. Don’t Be Evil uses the main Google search engine, as detailed above, to provide options from other social networks, where applicable.
In the example given by Search Engine Land, a search for TV Guide results in the magazine’s Twitter profile and Facebook page, rather than the last two posts from the TV Guide Google Plus page.
Readers: Do you think Google will eventually tweak its search results to reflect content from social networks other than its own Google Plus, or are tools like Don’t Be Evil the way to go?
Screenshot with Hugh Jackman results courtesy of Focus on the User; screen shot of Snoop Dogg results courtesy of Search Engine Land.