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Google's Nightmare: Facebook 'like' Replaces Links

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Facebook dropped a bombshell on the tech industry last week in the form of a Web-wide "Like" button and the launch of the "Open Graph".

Using this new platform, Web sites can drive Web traffic from Facebook by including Like buttons on their pages; every Like posts an update to that user's Facebook page.

What's more, any Web site can customize its experience for you, if you're logged into Facebook: Suddenly stories can be ranked not just by an editor but by your friends too.

Facebook announced Likes as a form of "social links"—better than a link because it's related to a specific user. If Like buttons take off, that's really bad news for Google, since its algorithm uses links between sites to determine their order in search results.

Facebook seeks to replace this open system of links between pages with the "social links" (or Likes) that it controls. Google and other search engines won't have full access to all these Likes, so the company best positioned to rank the Web will be Facebook. No wonder the "open Web" advocates are sounding the alarm, concerned that a single company will stockpile all of our personal information and preferences.

From CNN
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