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Nerd war erupts against Google, led by Facebook

As Google and Facebook fight for supremacy of the Web, watch out: A nerd war has erupted in light of Google's recent news that it is now forcing new Google account users to join Google+ and Gmail.

It's not like this war is new. Facebook has gone after Google before, most notably in a PR campaign-gone-sour last spring when it attempted to plant a negative story about a Google feature. While both Web giants have plenty to crow about in terms of domination, they also have plenty to eat crow about, especially Facebook with its confusing privacy policies. And Facebook, like Google, has required users to do certain things in order to get certain benefits; among them, making those who want a Spotify streaming music account sign up for it only via Facebook.

But the latest unofficial battle takes on Google's personalized search results so that it includes content from other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace with the a "bookmarklet" that "looks at the three placeswhere Google only shows Google+ results and then automatically googles Google to see if Google finds a result more relevant than Google+."

The "Focus on the User" project, led by "Facebook rabble-rouser Blake Ross," notes All Things D, was a "weekend coding effort (that) ... gave birth to a browser bookmarklet called 'don’t be evil' that rewrites Google’s personalized search results to include content from other social networks. (Ross’ official title is Director of Product, and he was previously a co-founder of Firefox.)"

"We are open-sourcing the code so that anyone may use it or make it even better," Focus on the User says on its new website.

Here's how the bookmarklet code, which runs in a Web browser, should work, Focus on the User says:

If Google decides that it's relevant to surface Google+ page as a result in any of the areas where Google+ content is hardcoded, the tool searches Google for the name of the Google+ page. Then, the tool identifies the social profiles within the first ten pages of Google results (top 100 results). The ones Google ranks highest — whether they are from Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Quora, Tumblr, Foursquare, Crunchbase, FriendFeed, Stack Overflow, Github or Google+ — replace the previous results that could only be from Google+.

If you download the bookmarklet, and find it's not working be patient, says Focus on the User: "Google has only rolled out its new social features on Google.com to a percentage of United States users. If you don't see any of these social results on Google, you do not have the feature yet, so unfortunately you can't use this tool."

And another caveat: The bookmarklet doesn't work with Internet Explorer, but only with Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

— Via All Things D

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