Google introduced its latest search update on Tuesday, which it calls a more “personalised” form of search. In addition to providing normal search results, the new update also pushes Google+ content on the first page of search results. The search giant claims to be transforming search into an “engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships”.
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Alex Macgillivray, Twitter’s general counsel, in a tweet referred to the update as a “bad day for the internet”. As an ex-Googler he said, “I can imagine the dissension at Google to search being warped this way.”
Twitter’s comments seem to have come as a shock to Google. The company responded to Twitter on its official Google+ page, saying, “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 rel=nofollow instructions.”
Mid last year, Twitter blocked Google from being able to access its data feed of public tweets, according to a report by Venturebeat. This caused Google to take its real-time search offline.
“For years now we’ve been working with our social search features to help you find the most relevant information from your friends and social connections, no matter what site that content is on. However, 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. Google also doesn’t have access to the social graph information from some sites, so it’s not possible to help you find information from those people you’re connected to,” said a Google spokesperson quoted on Venturebeat.
Below is Twitter’s full 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.