Barely a few hours after Google unveiled ‘Search Plus Your World’ micro-blogging site, Twitter, voiced its disapproval publicly saying that these changes were “bad” for both consumers and web publishers.
Twitter said that Google’s recent updates will make it tougher for people to find the breaking news that was being shared by its users only on the micro-blogging portal till now.
While Twitter’s General Counsel Alex Macgillivray tweeted that he believes this move heralds a “bad day for the Internet,” the company’s PR department came out with a statement saying -
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 (search) 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.
With the new Search Plus Your World feature Google aims at transforming its search engine into a personalized and content rich portal.
Ben Gomes of Google said, “There is a huge amount of content on the Web today but, at a certain point this content is nameless and faceless. The most relevant content is from people you know, so we are introducing your personal world to search. I’ve been trying it out and it really changes the nature of search for me. Now when I search for Bangalore I not only see information about the city but I see pictures of the house where I grew up.”
The ‘Search Plus Your World’ works around 3 major components :
- Personal Results: This will include results like your Google+ photos and posts.
- Profiles in Search: This will highlight people that might have helpful information.
- People and Pages: This will help users find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable users to follow those pages with just a few clicks. Because as per Google ‘behind most queries there is a community’.
Gomes also reconfirmed that Google has gone above and beyond on privacy issues as the company understands that people are sensitive with personal data.
However, Twitter’s main concern about this release is that with Google’s Search Plus Your World, people will find their own Google+ pages, profiles, updates etc in the top results making it much more difficult for users to find relevant information on Google. Further more critiques says that users will be restricted to the Google+ community pages only so Google motive behind ‘most queries, there’s a community’ is really not served.
In defense Google quickly responded Twitter’ statement with the following Google+ post:
We are a bit surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search Plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their no-follow instructions.
In a similar statement Gabriel Stricker, a spokesman for Google said, “Google does not have access to crawl all the information on some sites, so it’s not possible for us to surface all that content. Based on current policies from many social networks, we currently only have persistent access to information from Google+.”
While the two companies continue to battle it out, you can learn more about Google’s Search Plus Your World here.