A new service from Focus on the User allows users to modify Google search results to shift the focus from the company’s self-promoted products to the most relevant search results for any given query. The browser plug-in was co-developed by engineers from Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, although none of these social networks are given precedence in search results the way that Google does with Google+.
Dubbed the Don’t Be Evil bookmarklet, the software essentially does a Google search of Google’s own search results from the first 10 pages and returns the highest ranked social results as judged by Google. Bookmarklet also displays other social profiles that Google found and ranked within the first 10 pages of results.
In the example highlighted on Focus on the User’s website and demonstrated in the video above, performing a Google search for “cooking” results in chef Jamie Oliver’s Google+ page ranked at the top of relevant social results. This is, in fact, not the most relevant social result as Oliver hasn’t updated his Google+ profile in nearly two months.
Doing a regular Google search for Jamie Oliver shows his Twitter profile is the first social result that appears. Thus, when using the Don’t Be Evil bookmarklet, the abandoned Google+ page is replaced by the more relevant Twitter profile which was updated earlier today.
The name of the bookmarklet itself, Don’t Be Evil, plays off of Google’s own informal motto that was originally suggested by Google employees Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel during a meeting. That slogan was deemed fitting as a jab at other companies and competitors who they felt were exploiting their customers or users.
The developers emphasize they are not using any special APIs to gather their search results and furthermore, the code is open source so anyone may use it or make improvements to it. The plug-in is available now at Focus on the User for anyone that is interested in trying it.
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