'Don't Be Evil Tool' Demonstrates Google Is Misguided at Best, Lying at Worst

The public data already at Google's disposal is enough for it to build a better search

  Google could have included some Facebook and Twitter results into Search Plus Your World, but opted not to
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The "Don't be evil" bookmarklet, created by Facebook and other social networks to 'fix' Google search results, greatly demonstrates that Google is not telling the whole story when arguing that it can't include social data other than from Google+ in its enhanced Google Search Plus Your World.

The simple truth is, as many have argued since the start, that Google has access to plenty of public data, available from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on, to make sure that at least some features from the Search Plus update worked across the web rather than just with Google+ results.

The caveat is that personal results, i.e. those that are not public on the web can only come from Google+ unless Facebook, Twitter et al allow Google to access private data.

Initially, Google said that it would be glad to include results from Facebook and Twitter, but that it simply couldn't do that since it didn't have access to data that would be relevant.

That is true to a degree, but it's a misdirection, at best. Facebook, Twitter and everyone else have plenty of public content that is indexed by Google. This could be enough for at least several of the Search Plus features.

Not so, Google argued, it said that even though the content was public, it couldn't use it on this scale without first talking to the other sites. Not that Google asked for permission anyway.

But now both Facebook and Twitter are saying that they wouldn't have any problem with Google indexing their content, in fact, they welcome it to, in order to build a better search experience.

"Q. Does Google need a deal to crawl Twitter? A. No. Google’s web bots crawl Twitter 120M+ times a day; 3 billion pages indexed & counting," Twitter tweeted.

Facebook also said that it would not have a problem with Google using already available data in the way the "Don't be evil" tool does. But it's easy for them both to come out and say that after Google made the launch and got everyone criticizing it.

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By Lucian Constantin    24 Jan 2012, 15:51 GMT