Google Girds for Facebook Fight

The No. 1 search engine is banding together with other sites and software developers to build its own social networking ecosystem

Google has reached its share of dizzying heights—a share price of almost $700, a penchant for consistently beating Wall Street's financial expectations, and an outsize influence on the computer industry. It has done so by controlling the rich vein of advertising that flows from Internet searches. But there's a new online frontier Google (GOOG) has largely failed to tap: the rapidly growing world of social networks, which promises advertisers the ability to reach users where they live online.

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