A Twitter war has erupted: But this time it’s not one petty celeb jibe to another. It’s between Twitter itself and Google, which has been accused of ‘warping’ the Internet.
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It all began when Google announced changes to the way searches was conducted in a blog post Monday and now incorporates ‘social search’ in its ‘Your World’ web search, which appears to bias toward Google home grown ‘Google +’ social network – ignoring kings of the web society – Facebook, Twitter and even Flickr.
Google announced three new features, meaning all searches will now trawl through personal blogs, Google+ posts, personal profiles and communities, known as ‘ Search plus Your World.’
“Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more. But clearly, that isn’t enough.
“You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.”
“We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships.”
“Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started.” Sounds ominous.
The bypassing of rival networks comes following the breakdown of negotiations between Twitter and the search giant, to allow Google index tweets.
The changes essentially mean more Google users, which let’s face it, runs into hundreds of millions – will gravitate towards Google+ since Twitter and Facebook search results will be ignored or else shoved to back end of the results pages.
Roughly 90% of all click throughs are made on the first page of search results.
“When signed in with Google+, you’ll find personal results and profiles of people you know or follow. You can even expand your world by discovering people related to your search”, according to its search information page.
“Bad day for the Internet. Having been there, I can imagine the dissension @Google to search being warped this way,” Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray, tweeted yesterday, criticising Google’s seemingly schrewd move.
It could also potentially be in breach of antitrust regulations.
So, is this a self serving move by Larry Page’s giant?
Let’s looks at the stats. Facebook has around 800 million users and growing, meaning around 1 in every 9 people globally has a Facebook account, while Twitter said in September it had 100m users.
This amounts to almost one billion users and their social information.
Google+ has 43m users – just a fraction of its rivals membership – so is on a major push to up the numbers. And advertising dollars are also at stake, as the more click throughs to Google related products the better it is for them and its ever growing bottom line.
#Its the advertising, stupid
“What’s really going on is that Google is fully incorporating Google+ into its index. It’s as if Facebook doesn’t exist,” search guru John Batelle wrote on his blog.
“It sucks for the web. The unwillingness of Facebook and Google to share a public commons when it comes to the intersection of search and social is corrosive to the connective tissue of our shared culture.
“In the long run, it’s bad for Facebook, bad for Google, and bad for all of us,” he continues.
Twitter says it is ‘concerned’ by the move.
“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 organisations and Twitter users.”
“For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results any time they wanted to find something on the internet.
“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.”
Google replied on its Google+ account, saying it was “surprised by Twitter’s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer”.