Google has played its masterstroke and walked into an eye of storm. On Tuesday, Google announced its latest changes in the search algorithm – “Search plus Your World”. Jack Menzel, product management director of search, informed that people can now “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.”
In the new scheme of things, Google+ will be more deeply integrated into Google searches. Any user who is signed into his Google account, can now search against relevant content from Google+ along with the broader web search. Google has named this access – “Your Web”.
Naturally, Google’s decision has met with criticism from several quarters. Quite unexpectedly, Twitter came out in scathing attack on Google as soon as Google made the announcements about the search changes. “We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone.” Twitter’s press statement said.
Twitter’s worries are not unfounded. We all have seen in the past that news breaks on Twitter first. With more than 400 million tweets sent out every day, for real time searches, twitter would undoubtedly generate most relevant results. Undue importance to Google+ will eventually erode the significance of other platforms, feels the microblogging social network.
Here’s Twitter’s complete 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.
Twitter’s outrage started a virtual war of words between the two giants. Twitter general council Alex Macgillivray tweeted an example to substantiate why he felt Google’s new searches were inefficient. He claimed that a Google search “@WWE” did not return any results from Twitter feed.
Google was quick to retort with an explanation. Google claimed, according to an article in Mashable, that “@” was never indexed in searches. They opine that a @WWE search would yield the same results as WWE (however, Google+ page of WWE will appear higher in the search results). Another Social Networking giant, Facebook, has maintained silence over the whole controversy. On the other hand, internet watch dog group EPIC has filed a complaint to FTC asking the commission to look into the matter of Google+ integration into social searches.
Fallout of this public spat between the SM titans remains to be seen. Latest changes in social search will indeed be a boost for Google+. The effect on other platforms can only be judged in the future.
Which side of the fence are you on, in this whole episode?
Disclaimer: The legal copyright of the images belongs to the respective copyright owners.