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Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace To Google: Don't Be Evil

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-guys-should-team-up-and-start-a-search-engine dept.

Cloud 208

An anonymous reader writes "Over the weekend, Blake Ross, Facebook's product director and co-founder of Firefox, worked with Facebook engineers Tom Occhino and Marshall Roch to demonstrate how evil they think Google's newly launched Search plus Your World (SPYW) feature really is, and created a 'proof of concept' showing how it should really work. His team got some help from Twitter engineers and Myspace engineers, and consulted other social networks as well to really make sure the message hits home: SPYW should surface results from all social networks, not just Google+. By leveraging Google's own algorithms, the group built a bookmarklet called 'don't be evil' (a jab at Google's informal motto) and released it on a new website named Focus on the User."

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208 comments

Don't Be Evil (1, Troll)

jakrmaster (2559049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38797893)

The video of the proof of concept looks actually awesome, and much better than how Google is doing it now. It's also much better for the user since it pulls the content from all social networks and other relevant sites. Interestingly, they're using Google's own search engine to do this:

So, how does it work? If Google’s search engine decides that it’s relevant to surface a Google+ page in response to a query where Google+ content is hardcoded, the tool searches Google for the name of the Google+ page and identifies the social profiles within the first ten pages of Google’s search results (top 100 results). The ones Google ranks highest, regardless of what social network they are from, replace the previous results that would only be from Google+.

In my opinion this demonstrates perfectly that it's entirely possible for Google. It's just that they don't want to do it - they want more control for themselves and more information about users for advertising and marketing. Social networking would be awesome source of data for Google and they must be crying blood that they didn't get it before Facebook and Twitter surfaced. If they had their own social network they would get all that. But by far Google+ is an epic failure.

Re:Don't Be Evil (5, Insightful)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38797943)

It's just that they don't want to do it - they want more control for themselves and more information about users for advertising and marketing

So tell me, why Facebook data isn't open for everyone? That's control too, isn't it?. And do you remember when twitter said "no" to Google for use Twitter data on Google Social Search?
You should inform yourself before commenting, please.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

jakrmaster (2559049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38797993)

So tell me, why Facebook data isn't open for everyone?

For obvious privacy reasons? But Facebook data is public is open to everyone. For Google too. In fact you can find public Facebook pages in their normal search, too.

Re:Don't Be Evil (3, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798161)

Ya I was thinking the same thing. I read about some sort of deal between twitter and Google to use tweets in their search results but it fell through. So why is twitter bitching about it now? Google is running a business folks and they've done nothing wrong, by deciding to allow posts from their Google plus into the results.

Re:Don't Be Evil (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798327)

I think the key change here is that, like SPYW, this form of Twitter integration might not be a panopticon of the whole Twitterverse; it would only integrate the "your world" part and you'd have to provide your login credentials to do so. (Anyway, think about that seriously: do you really want your search results clogged up with every Twitter post ever?)

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

NWX (2559313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798505)

It was Google that declined to renew the Twitter deal when it expired. Likewise, Facebook allowed similar access to Google that Bing has, but again, Google declined.

Re:Don't Be Evil (4, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798695)

Sources or didn't happen.

What I recall was facebook declining access to google unless they payed shitloads of money (there was even a spat because they blocked google and then google blocked facebook access to gmail) and twitter wanting shitloads of money to grant access to their message stream.

They wanted to monetize their information so bad google thought it would be cheaper to launch their own social network... That's saying something.

Now that they kind of "succeeded", they cry.

Either way, no search engine should be giving social media results, but that's my personal opinion.

Re:Don't Be Evil (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798501)

I really don't like it (the Google+ Search).

I searched my name to see what came up, and my private from phone folder was across the top of the page.

I don't like the personalization of my search in this way, I don't want checking my email to bring up semi-private photos if my name is typed in.

I want google.com to search the web, not my profile, let me search my profile if that's what I want.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798955)

Click on the Settings icon -> Search Settings -> Do not use personal results.

There, that wasn't so hard.

Personally, I just don't have a G+ account due to the other issues that are in my opinion way worse than personalized search.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38797955)

"Evil" is one of those words that mean different things to different people.

Much like "reasonable," which is a good one to use if you want to get someone to agree to make themselves vulnerable to you in some way.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38797989)

In my opinion this demonstrates perfectly that it's entirely possible for Google. It's just that they don't want to do it - they want more control for themselves and more information about users for advertising and marketing. Social networking would be awesome source of data for Google and they must be crying blood that they didn't get it before Facebook and Twitter surfaced. If they had their own social network they would get all that. But by far Google+ is an epic failure.

I think it's just that google (and apple for that matter) is filling the vacuum left by microsoft's evil ways of the 90's. As soon as i started to understand how effective and easy it was for facebook to collect information about people and how easy it was to target very specific demographics, i was wondering why google, an advertising company, wasn't in this market, then about a year later google+ comes along.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799009)

Vaccum? Are we talking about the company that's suing others for having their own implementation of Microsoft's incredibly innovative algorithm that turns "reallybigfilename.txt" into "REALLY~1.TXT" and stores both?

Re:Don't Be Evil (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798039)

new account, same anti-google? [slashdot.org] Jesus christ you guys multiply like tribbles.

The reality here is that putting this on google is focusing on a strawman to mislead people to the fact that it is facebook that prevents google from indexing it, not vice versa.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0, Troll)

jakrmaster (2559049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798105)

How does Facebook prevent Google from indexing it? It doesn't - in fact, you can find tons of people, pages and other parts of Facebook on Google. Hell, if you want API access there's Open Graph [facebook.com] . If you want to do large scale scraping on Facebook you can also contact then [facebook.com] . Judging by Facebook's robot.txt, Google has this permission (and so does several other search engines).

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

leoplan2 (2064520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798125)

private Facebook data is not available.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

jakrmaster (2559049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798153)

Yeah, and like that wouldn't be a privacy problem?

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798229)

Why would searching through your own private posts be a privacy problem? This is what google+ allows you to do, and what Facebook prevents google from doing.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

jakrmaster (2559049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798261)

Open Graph allows searching users private posts and info if they give those apps permission to do that. Google can do it. But don't you see the privacy problem of giving bunch of random companies access to all the private data? Or is Google excepted because obviously they cannot do evil?

Re:Don't Be Evil (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798371)

That's redundant because neither is private google+ data.

I think the landscape of the internet has changed too much, google is competing with facebook (google+), twitter (buzz, though it failed), and myspace (what competition, these guys still around??). Business 101 implies you do not offer your services to competitors. Google does have one big thing the rest don't, and that's a search engine, it kind of screws fb and twitter that they leverage it against them, but it's theirs to leverage.

At least google's learned their lesson and you have to "opt-in" to it. Facebook still randomly rolls features out.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798165)

Honestly dude, troll harder. You're focusing on bullshit again. How many times will you do this with how many accounts? Is this 5? 10? in the last week?

Of course public information is scraped. That's not the point. You could publicly scrape anything whether anyone wants it or not. The reality here is the strawman of focusing on that, yet again. But yes, it must be google, they must be evil. Uh, no.

Oh wait, here's the humor and irony:

to get to http://www.facebook.com/apps/site_scraping_tos.php [facebook.com] - you have to log in to facebook.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798289)

Hey, I'm Blake and I created this. The tool available on FocusOnTheUser.org demonstrates that Google has access to all the information it needs to access information from Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and a dozen other social networks. It's a real, working product that anyone can try out—code, not rhetoric.

Re:Don't Be Evil (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798749)

Cognratulations, you demonstrated that Google - gasp - has access to publicly available information on Twitter and Facebook. The only thing you've done is rearranged where the results appear. What exactly was the point of this exercise? To prove that Google does not have a filter for social networks? Congratulations. The easy solution is to have that filter appear where all the other filters are: in the right left sidebar, among images, news, etc.

I'm wondering what kind of crap reason Facebook will come up with next if Google actually goes that route. Because Facebook's problem isn't that Google doesn't index the results properly, but that Google has a nice platform from which to advertise its own products. Kinda like how Facebook has a nice platform from where to advertise Facebook products.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

NWX (2559313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798811)

Because Facebook's problem isn't that Google doesn't index the results properly, but that Google has a nice platform from which to advertise its own products. Kinda like how Facebook has a nice platform from where to advertise Facebook products.

Just like Microsoft has a nice platform to advertise Office, Internet Explorer and other MS products? There's no problem if any of them does that, then?

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798903)

Wow, another user name? Don't you get tired of this?

MS makes an OS that fully controls what a user can do. Facebook and Google operate sites with their own money, that allow me access to them. Google is nice about how to transfer data out of their servers, Facebook less so.

If you don't understand how all those companies differ from each other, you are either being paid to not understand, or suffer from a pathological hatred of all things Google.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

NWX (2559313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799045)

How is that relevant at all? Or are you just too stupid to come up with valid arguments? The fact that they're not 1:1 companies doesn't matter at all when talking about their platforms. And Facebook does allow you to transfer data out of their servers, just like Google does. With Microsoft you hold that data all the time, so it's the less evil and locking down of them all.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799089)

And.. not for nothing, MS DOES still endlessly promote its own products through its OS. This is how the game is played. Get over it. Also -- hands off my data.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799211)

Yep. Here's the difference: a different Search is a click away. A different OS is.... about a full day's worth of work away. Visiting one site does not impact my ability to visit a different site. Using one OS does impact my ability to use another OS. See the difference?

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38799061)

To prove that Google does not have a filter for social networks?

But they do - they're actively hoisting useless Google+ pages up above the actual useful links. The point should be obvious to anyone with half a brain: Google is compromising its search quality in order to push Google+ and nothing but. Designing their new features with a less myopic view would make them seem much less forced.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799177)

At this point, you're just lying about the compromising their search. To be clear: at no point did anyone show that the SEARCH RESULTS were bad. They were complaining about the fact that Google was showing results for its Google products in an area NEXT to the SEARCH RESULTS. Which is an idiotic complaint about a UI decision.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38799073)

What I don't see ... at all ... is why being redirected to twitter (which is effectively useless as a real communication tool) or Facebook (which I must create an account and sign over the rights to my identity to use) are better than google+ results -- which are also useless, but at least not "secretly plotting to butt-rape me" evil like Facebook.

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798549)

Did you watch the video, though? Watch the fucking video.

As much as these social websites are a blight on civilised society, they do have a point. Google clearly would present a more relevant result if they showed active profiles from wherever rather than pushing semiabandoned Google+ sites for every query. And as the demo shows, they clearly have the ability.

Facebook is indeed a closed web, and Google+ is partly a way get that data back into the Googleplex where Google thinks it belongs. But the bookmarklet in TFA gives improved results while using only queries to Google, which puts the lie to the claim that they "can't" present relevant public profiles from other social networks.

Re:Don't Be Evil (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798209)

The video of the proof of concept looks actually awesome, and much better than how Google is doing it now. It's also much better for the user since it pulls the content from all social networks and other relevant sites. Interestingly, they're using Google's own search engine to do this:

Agreed... but for one thing, I hardly ever find Twitter relevant for anything, but thanks to its nature it will dominate every search. Twitter, thanks to its format, gets generally much higher "follower" counts, but each message has much less content than a Google+ or Facebook post (which isn't saying much), Twitter has a much higher single to noise ratio.

The best solution would be to return results from services that the user actually uses (and thus cares about). Sadly this would require a fair bit of intrusion on behalf of Google. A Google+ or Facebook hit is much more useful to me than a MySpace or Twitter hit, since I don't use, and don't want to use, either of those services. This also ignores my own subjective bias against social networking sites as suppliers of useful information, I know I, and many of my fellow /. nerds are fringe cases here. Most celebrity, or big, social accounts are also not real, they are basically marketing ploys, which limit their usefulness. So, why bother?

Also, this move does smell a bit fishy in-itself. I think Google's competition is just angry that they don't get to promote themselves via unrelated searches. Also, tangentially, I haven't actually noticed the social sidebar on many of my searches, but it did show up for "cooking", which is something I would never actually search for, it doesn't show up for "cooking with eggs", which is closer to something I might ever search for. What purpose is there in just looking up "cooking", outside of trying to get a Wikipedia link or Dictionary?

Re:Don't Be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798305)

Bu-bu-but Facebook won't let google peek at its data...

Re:Don't Be Evil (5, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798719)

Oh hai, DCTech. New account for a new story you posted, right? Well, here's a quick summary of why Facebook and MySpace are full of crap, and Twitter is irrelevant:

* There's the standard complaint that links on top of the search results are an unfair promotion of Google's own data. Well, no shit sherlock. It's their own site, and they can show their own links whereever the hell they want. It's marked as not part of the search results, so I don't see how this could possibly be read as cooking the results. Unless, of course, you're Facebook and are trying to poison the debate.
* The focusontheuser.org page is also misleading in what it calls "on top of the search results". In the video, they clicked on the G+ link that specifically says "Here are the G+ results for your search", not on the general search results. Then they complain they get taken to the G+ page. I'm confused on how that was a surprise.

Essentially, what this is is a general bitch session by Facebook that Google shows Google products in the areas that are dedicated to Google products. Really? That's a problem? If Facebook is unhappy about how Google displays Facebook results, I have a suggestion for them: create your own search engine. Make it exactly as platform agnostic as it was shown on the focusontheuser.org site. Then go talk about Google doesn't offer the best possible search engine. In the meantime, this comes across as nothing but a giant astroturfing campaign by Facebook to force Google to show Facebook and Twitter results in an area that Google has set aside for its own products.

That said, there are some interesting ideas in there on how Google can improve its search:
* default opt-out for showing my G+ info. I know when to look for it, thanks.
* In the left sidebar, include a social network section. Filter specifically on known social networks. Have it even be customizable to only show results from a user-defined list of social networks.

But that's it. There's absolutely no need to have FB and Twitter results show up in the right side-bar, which is explicitly dedicated to Google product results. Not unless you want to essentially force Google to advertise Facebook and Twitter results for free.

Re:Don't Be Evil (5, Insightful)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798841)

In my opinion this demonstrates perfectly that it's entirely possible for Google. It's just that they don't want to do it

...and in other news, McDonalds doesn't want to sell Burger King's hamburgers, despite the fact that it's entirely possible for them to do so. A Burger King spokesman decried this blatant favoritism as "evil".

Re:Don't Be Evil (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798959)

You've got to ask yourself at the end of the day: how much do I really care about this?

Seriously, who actually uses google to find fb and twitter posts when those sites have their own search?

This is about $, not ethics, in the sense of fb and twitter and myspace wanting to make more with google's good will this time. Sounds more like a jest / proof of ethics than an actual feature request.

Anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38797919)

I think Google+ and facebook should be forced anon.
That is all.

Ironic.. (4, Insightful)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 2 years ago | (#38797921)

..considering reports the Google's entire motivation for creating Google+ was that so much content was moving to social networks such as Facebook and that said social networks were pushing against Google's attempts to index the content on their services.

Re:Ironic.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38797963)

Ironic, since that's not irony.

Ironic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798159)

Like a black fly in your chardonnay?

Re:Ironic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798795)

Or maybe a free ride when you've already payed?

Who would've thought? It figures!

Re:Ironic.. (1, Interesting)

pinfall (2430412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798253)

Blake Ross is the same snooty, aloof and disdainful prick that the rest of them are. Like any goon he would take the legs out from under your grandma to keep her from scoring a goal in a game that's already over. No rational human should listen to the blubber from any of these selfserving sociapaths. It all goes down the same money hole in the end.

Re:Ironic.. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798737)

Blake Ross is the same snooty, aloof and disdainful prick that the rest of them are.

I used to read his blog back in the phoenix days, when he was "an 8 year old". Kind of surprised he's working for Zuckerfuck, I always had the impression he was brighter than that.

Re:Ironic.. (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798753)

It's not ironic. It's a direct response to Google's claims:

The team’s goal is to show Google is lying because the search giant already indexes all public information on social networks, and there’s no reason why it can’t use that data as well.

Personally, I do not know who's telling the truth, and I can't say I like Facebook very much, but I'm hoping that more people actually read the article before rehashing Google's claims (which the article is already responding to).

Re:Ironic.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798801)

Really a shame that every piece of data can't be owned by Google. That's just a damned shame.

Facebook has no room to speak (2)

Baloo Uriza (1582831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38797925)

Seriously, they've been doing the exact same move with Facebook posts and the Like buttons with Bing for, what, two years now?

Wait...who told whom what? (5, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38797939)

Facebook? Facebook is telling Google not to be evil? FACEBOOK? If Google were half as self-serving with privacy policies and use of data as Facebook has been....actually, it would be so awful I don't even know how to put it into words.

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (1)

crispylinetta (1639533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798019)

I agree with all of this and suspect that Google will not go for this (though they probably should, even out of self-interest, to become more closely associated with the big players in social media and to potentially promote the use of G+) this type of integration is exactly what we want to see and should be encouraged. I am glad to see any efforts to have the great minds in the room collaborating to leverage our technology and create something beneficial to users, again, even if done out of self-interest. So often we see the limitations of the technology we have not being met and pushed because of intentionally locking down devices and software, and it is a real shame. This type of interaction between competitors is a good thing.

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (1)

BazilBBrush (1259370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798035)

Facebook? Facebook is telling Google not to be evil? FACEBOOK?

Exactly.

What is a 'zuckerberg' anyway???

Like a dirty iceberg or something?

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798049)

not just facebook, supposedly myspace which was owned by murdoch, who clearly is not an evil fellow, right?

ahhh, the comedy. It's another "accuse someone else of what you're doing so that they don't focus on you at all". aka the political/microsoft way to do things.

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (5, Informative)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798061)

Facebook? Facebook is telling Google not to be evil? FACEBOOK?

That was my initial reaction. If it were Mozilla or Wikipedia telling Google to be less evil, that would be one thing. But Facebook, one of the more evil companies on the planet, beseeching Google not to be evil?

This is why I could never work in the corporate world. I understand that spewing this type of bullshit is par for the course, but I would have never been able to stomach it.

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (5, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798095)

Facebook? Facebook is telling Google not to be evil? FACEBOOK?

I dunno, the story lost all credibility for me when I read the phrase 'MySpace engineers'....

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798147)

lol Your ROT-13 was better than your post... so funny.

Re:Wait...who told whom what? (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798339)

Its more along the lines of them being upset about monopolizing evil rather than a holier than thou stance.

SPYW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38797981)

am i the only one that thought SPYW is the new abbreviation for Spyware ?

oh the hypocrisy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798005)

Facebook criticizing ANYONE regarding privacy? That's not just ironic, it's downright hypocritical.

Really all four of those companies are equally evil little shits. Fuck 'em all.

No effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798015)

Twitter shutdown its Google outlet, and then wants Google to perform the same function?

I ran this script (on Australian Google results) and it had no effect on the results of my search.

Re:No effect (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798421)

Twitter and Google had an agreement. It expired and Google declined to renew it.

Almost like how FaceBook offered Google the same data they offer bing with the same terms and Google declined.

Popcorn time (0)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798027)

I think it's hilarious that Google are cannibalizing their core competency, in a misguided attempt to "compete" with facebook.
The results page is even starting to look like a facebook "wall" page.

Re:Popcorn time (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798231)

At least you can turn that stupid search plus your world shit off. I mean, they could have just done it and not given the option, which, if you've seen how retarded the results can be if you have a lot of people in your circles on G+, would have been goddamned awful and totally depreciated any value Google had for search, imho...

I wish Google would have let us keep the old style search page and shit, rather than the new one with all the drop-downs...

Re:Popcorn time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798951)

Just make sure you're logged in so they can track you.... THEN they will turn it off for ya.

(perfect example of the problem requiring user accounts everywhere too in a place that's not needed as well as Evil_by_default settings)

Leave search alone (5, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798029)

Am I the only one who wants to search for the words I type in and nothing else. Google is already giving some kind of preference for the results in my area whether I want it or not, and now apparently it is going to pollute them with more random junk. When I searched for a solution to a particular known problem with my car, it mixed in a bunch of completely irrelevant results just because they are to do with cars in my city. I guess no software company is immune to suicide by features phenomenon.

Re:Leave search alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798215)

Google does INCREDIBLY intensive user testing. If a feature is added (like local or social results), the only reason it's there is because the user testing performed better with it.

Re:Leave search alone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798299)

That's a load of bollocks.

Anytime something horrible and confusing comes out Google's support forums light up with hundreds of irate users, which lately has been any time they've changed something that people actually use.

"If it ain't broke..."

Re:Leave search alone (3, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798281)

and now apparently it is going to pollute them with more random junk

No, not unless you click the little "My World" tab at the top of your search, like you do to access Google Image Search, or Video Search.

Re:Leave search alone (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798309)

No, you're not the only one. There should be an option to let us choose whether we want to have the results "optimized" for our area. I can see how a search focussed on local results is useful in a lot of cases, but there are just as many times when it's not. Giving the a prominant "include local results" checkbox next to the search seems like it would be a simple and effective compromise.

Re:Leave search alone (3, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798363)

This is one of the reasons why people switched away from Altavista to Google. Granted, it's not the main reason, but it's one of the reasons.

I hate how over-helpful Google is. It seems like there's no way to do a simple search any more. It tries to correct my spelling, searches for what it thinks I meant, and mixes in results that don't even have my search terms in them! It's frustrating as hell. I'd switch to something else, but there really isn't anything that's any better.

It's gotten to the point that I put everything in quotes, with a plus sign, no matter what I search for. Otherwise, I end up getting completely irrelevant results. There needs to be an option in the advanced search options that says, "[x] I'm not an idiot".

Re:Leave search alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798727)

I loved Altavista back in the day - when it was actually a useful search engine that got really useful results.

Re:Leave search alone (5, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799107)

There needs to be an option in the advanced search options that says, "[x] I'm not an idiot".

There is. Left bar -> More Search tools -> Verbatim

"With the Verbatim tool, you can search using the exact keywords you typed," explains Google. Verbatim disables Google's spelling corrections and Google no longer replaces some of your keywords with synonyms (e.g.: television / TV), similar terms (e.g: buy flowers / send flowers), words with the same stem (e.g.: fixing / fix). Verbatim also disables search personalization.

I submitted this as a story a month ago or so, but it wasn't accepted by the /. editors.

Re:Leave search alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798587)

Personally, I just don't use my main browser instance to do web searches. I use Firefox for my main browsing and Chromium for my searches and clear cookies/history on Chromium regularly. Of course, that doesn't stop Google from doing things like using my IP address to determine my location and base results off of that.

Re:Leave search alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38799079)

Am I the only one who wants to search for the words I type in and nothing else.

You are not the only one, but you are incredibly rare. Google is not stupid: They add related terms and concepts because users click on them and say they like the results in user studies.

Is there soem reason you can't find what you need by adding quotes around the search terms?

I guess no software company is immune to suicide by features phenomenon.

Do you have any evidence google is committing suicide by making their search so bad no one uses it? That is an extraordinary claim, considering that most people do use it.

OMG - How creepy - PLEASE DON'T FRIEND ME ON G+ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798063)

I absolutely do not want any contacts on G+ - I don't want to have to worry about what details of my personal life show up every time someone else searches.

Google searches used to be great a couple of years ago, but have started giving lousy results lately. I wish someone would start a search engine as good as Google was 2 years ago, and skip all the other nonsense that Google has been pulling lately.

Initial thoughts... (5, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798071)

1) Their definition of "don't be evil" seems to be "please don't compete with us directly".

2) Facebook has already created the largest walled garden on the Internet by a couple orders of magnitude - maybe before trying to "fix" other companies' software *they* should start looking at ways to include other social networks and web sites without requiring a post/link into Facebook's database and a sneaky redirect...

3) Wait, Myspace has engineers?!?

Re:Initial thoughts... (3, Informative)

ChronoFish (948067) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798187)

I wish I had mod points.... You've hit it right.

It's not so much "focus on the *user*" as much as "focus on OUR *users*".

Their example is accurate, and I agree that it would be great to can-open Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.... So.... is Facebook asking Google to actually do this? Because last I checked they were still trying to find ways to prevent FB data from crossing over to Google+.

-CF

Re:Initial thoughts... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798235)

3) I'm more curious as to why are they even trying. I mean, it's myspace. It's almost dead, and that's just because it refuses to believe that it really is dead.

Re:Initial thoughts... (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798293)

Google tried in the past to allow tweets and Facebook content searchable by their engine - Facebook wouldn't allow it, the Twitter deal fell through too.

Facebook has tried their hardest to set up a walled garden, and it just bit them in the ass. boo-hoo.

Re:Initial thoughts... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799195)

1) Their definition of "don't be evil" seems to be "please don't compete with us directly".

That's not quite it: it is "please do more (at no cost to us) to promote our services that compete with yours directly."

Well then... (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798093)

Perhaps facebook could open up their APIs so that other social networks would have a fighting chance of getting into existence, and we'd actually see some competition.

And perhaps twitter could do the same, so that we can choose whichever company we want as a tweet-service. Imagine that e-mail was handled by one company, quite a ridiculous situation!

Hypocrisy at its finest (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798113)

Twitter to Google: "You can't search or index our content. You need to pay us millions of dollars to get a feed of our data"

Twitter to Media: "Google isn't searching and index our content! They're being evil!"

Give me a break. Twitter and Facebook put up walled gardens and prevented Google from crawling them, forcing Google to make their own social network and now that it's a threat, they pay PR firms to smear Google in the media and complain that they're not being included in new Google features. You want to be included? Set robots.txt to allow the googlebot to crawl your site.

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798297)

Exactly... Twitter can't have it both ways but are clearly trying..

Pot calling the kettle black (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798149)

Well, maybe Facebook should swallow a heaping teaspoon of its own advice. After all, they were being evil about user privacy. Even Mark Zuckerberg deluded himself into believing that users don't care about privacy.

Re:Pot calling the kettle black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798497)

When your paycheck depends on believing that users don't care about privacy...

Smoke screen (1)

ettusyphax (1155197) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798181)

Not only is this obviously hypocritical on the part of Facebook and friends, it's also a highly transparent attempt to discredit Google's social services. Now, do I agree with Google's Search+ Your World? No, it's stupid and indeed somewhat evil, but I don't see how it's any different than Facebook's attempts to rip off Foursquare or searching Twitter for just about anything - in fact those services are usually more revealing than a simple search assist from Google. Does anyone honestly believe that if Facebook had Google's search market share they would do the same? Zuckerberg may be a smart guy, but he got where he is by dicking people over and then pissing on their corpses. Sergey and Larry got where they are through ingenuity and hard work. (I'm sure there was some dicking over involved but nowhere near as much.) Google has lost its way, and I can't blame them for grasping at straws to gain market share in any arena they can. They have tried doing social networking the "nice" way to no avail, although Orkut is still popular in some Latin American countries I believe. Fact is, people want this crap because they're dumb. You and I may say "why would I want my grandpa's G+ posts to show up in search" while the average social networker says "durr neat grandpa's tweets are in my search for 'hi grandpa how are you.'" The web isn't built for us anymore. Unfortunately, Facebook apologists will lap this up as stone-set fact. I don't really care though - I switched to DuckDuckGo and dropped social networking ages ago.

Re:Smoke screen (1)

whoop (194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38799209)

Say you want to go to some restaurant. You type it in to Google to find the closest one near you. Then, you see that a long time ago, your grandpa put up a post about how he got E Coli there. He recovered, so that isn't on your mind anymore. Now you see it and it sparks your memory. Do you still want to get directions there?

It can be a handy thing depending on the situation. If you are just searching for the history of the Statue of Liberty, then you wouldn't want to do the social search.

Like anything in life, you have to learn how and when to use it.

LOL (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798205)

Facebook telling someone how not to be evil? /. needs a comedy section. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Scraping of data (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38798411)

Is Facebook fine with Google scraping data from their network? If Google did that without asking, wouldn't that make Google evil?

If Facebook is voluntarily offering up said data, then certainly Google should use it.

Re:Scraping of data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798969)

But in the latter case, Facebook would be evil...

True Face of Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38798459)

Now thats the true face and business of devil Google:
Fool people by selling their own info/data to them.

I expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38799037)

That since I can no longer "check in" with latitude unless I have a G+ account that soon you may find you need a G+ account to use Gmail, perhaps even all their services.

Facebook is used by idiots. End of story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38799065)

Social networking is bullshit.

Yes, there are plenty of idiots and Facebook will make money
exploiting them, but that doesn't change the fundamental truth
that it is both unnecessary and a bad idea to post the details of
your personal interactions on a website which will use the data
as it sees fit, for profit.

Linked In is a different story, it is very useful for career reasons. But Facebook
is for stupid people. And yeah, if you use it I am saying you're stupid, and
I am right.

It is amazing how all you fools fall into line like sheep waiting to be sheared.

P.T. Barnum knew all this many years ago, when he said "There's a sucker born
every minute."

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