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ReadWriteWeb's 'Facebook Log-In' Fiasco Angers, Confounds Googlers

Earlier this week, ReadWriteWeb (RWW) published a timely piece about Facebook's larger strategy in light of the newly announced interconnectedness between AOL's AIM and Facebook Chat. Less than an hour later, the post was flooded with traffic, increasingly confused commenters asking, "Why wont you let me sign in?" What went wrong?

A Google search for "Facebook login" (and most other terms) reveals News Results up top, followed by traditional search results. RWW's timely 'Facebook Wants to Be Your One True Login' story landed first in the news results, and therefore first on the search results page. Therein lay the problem.

The traffic bump and explosion of user complaints reveal how some people use their browsers, search engines, and the Web as a whole. Instead of typing "" into the address bar or using bookmarks, Daring Fireball's John Gruber explains, they type the term (in this case, "facebook login") into Google and click the first link on the page, effectively using search as a navigation tool. Unfortunately, there's a big security issue here. Many are clicking links without checking the URL, which helps to explain the continued success of phishing schemes.

Comments like "i need the old facebook this new one is very bad bbbbbbbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu" may be funny, but RWW argues that the confusion is a result of Google's decision to place more immediate, and potentially more relevant, news above regular search results.

Two types of thinking seem to be in play. First, millions of Google users have become experts simply from years of use, and have come to expect Google's constant updates to make search results more relevant (e.g., adding breaking news to search results, incorporating real-time tweets). The second way of thinking hasn't kept up with the Web's constant change, and sees a computer and the Web as means to a finite end. Google hasn't necessarily failed; knowledge of the Web just hasn't kept up with technological innovation.

The Web can, of course, be used in countless ways, and using search as a navigational tool is certainly valid. Still, let's face the facts: far too many users are clicking first, and asking questions later. [From: ReadWriteWeb, ReadWriteWeb and DaringFireball]

Tags: bog, design, facebook, google, readwriteweb, rww, social networking, SocialNetworking, top, web