Twitter livid over Google search filtering

Jan 10, 2012
6

Twitter has struck out at Google's new Search plus Your World integration of Google+ into regular search results, describing the move as "bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users." Google announced earlier today that it would be using Google+ information to better personalize search results for users, showing friends' mini-profiles, contextually-filtered topics and suggested new contacts in among the regular findings. That's obviously upset Twitter, which seems to believe it's being forced away from Google users' eyeballs.

The thrust of Twitter's argument is that the short messaging service has become the go-to place for breaking and evolving news stories. "As we've seen time and time again," the site claims, "news breaks first on Twitter."

That, it's suggested, means that tweets "are often the most relevant results" but, thanks to Google's new filtering, there's a good chance that it's Google+ posts that will be shown instead. Google and Twitter did have a realtime search deal at one point, showing live tweets relevant to search terms, but that deal expired last year and was not renewed.

For all the "breaking news" talk and positioning easy access to tweets as a public service, this does seem more like a case of Twitter trying to make sure it's not elbowed out by Google's own social network. Google+ is in the privileged position of being linked with the most commonly used search engine; Google may have been later to social than Facebook or Twitter, but it already has a considerable foot in the door with users.

Twitter statement:

"For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results anytime they wanted to find something on the Internet.

Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million Tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant results.

We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that’s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users."


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