On Wednesday, tech site ReadWriteWeb posted an article on Facebook’s recent partnering with AOL’s Instant Messenger. But when the article—which is titled “Facebook Wants To Be Your One True Login”—started ranking high in Google search results for the term “Facebook login,” something strange happened: Scores of people trying to log in to their Facebook page instead arrived at ReadWriteWeb and believed their favorite social networking site had received a major design overhaul.
The confusion from Facebook users got so bad that Read Write Web was forced to insert a note into the original article:
Dear visitors from Google. This site is not Facebook. This is a website called ReadWriteWeb that reports on news about Facebook and other Internet services… For future reference, type “facebook.com” into your browser address bar or enter “facebook” into Google and click on the first result. We recommend that you then save Facebook as a bookmark in your browser.
Apparently, for many people Internet literacy starts and stops with search engines.