April 28, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – The competition between the Internet’s major brands to gain the biggest piece of the pie in terms of online popularity and traffic continues to generate headlines.

Now, several executives of Google, including revered search guru Matt Cutts, have reportedly deactivated their Facebook pages after that hugely popular social media site announced its plan to integrate multiple new plug-ins which would in turn likely interfere with Google’s international SEO dominance.

Facebook’s new features are designed to let users integrate Facebook into other online sites. There’s also “Open Graph and Graph API,” two other new plugins that “allow businesses to easily integrate Facebook features into their websites,” according to Last Click News.

All this is being taken as a deliberate challenge to Google, currently reigning king of all things search engine. But is Facebook’s move such a surprise? After all, Google fired the first shot in this war earlier this year by introducing Google Buzz, which many industry observers feel directly competes with Facebook’s social media empire.

“I just deactivated my Facebook account using the guide at http://goo.gl/rhpE,” Cutts wrote on Twiter, according to British online IT news source The Register. “Not hard to do & you can still revive it later.”

“Am I the only one freaked out about Facebook and privacy??” wrote Google software engineer Ping Chen on Buzz, according to the article. “I swear I might have to shut down my FB account … the recent announcements are really worrying … “

(Interesting that Google would call out another site on privacy concerns, considering it’s been so widely criticized on that same front for years and years … )

So, while this news that some Google power players are removing themselves completely from all things Facebook may seem a bit like simple industry gossip at first, upon consideration, it looks more like escalating moves in an increasing online chess match (or all-out warfare). And who’ll come out on top? With Twitter now also involved in the fireworks, it’s really anyone’s guess.

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