Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Horizons

Twitter lambasts new Google search feature

Search Plus Your World, the new initiative from Google, has come under fire from the folks at Twitter. 

By Matthew Shaer / January 11, 2012

Google, which this week introduced the Search Plus Your World feature, is under fire from Twitter.

Reuters

Enlarge

This week, Google introduced an initiative called Search Plus Your World, which will combine standard search results with items culled from Google+ and photo-sharing sites such as Picasa. The idea, generally speaking, is to expand the reach of Google, from regular ol' websites to the "social web" – where most Internet users operate today. 

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

Search Plus Your World, expected to hit many computers today, is controlled via a toggle switch. Turn it on and search results will change based on your friend's tastes. Switch it off to return to the standard Google view. But that's not quite enough for Twitter, which today issued a strongly-worded statement about Search Plus Your World, expressing concern that Twitter results would be harder to find under the new system. 

"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," the statement read. "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." 

So is Twitter right to be worried? Hard to say – we haven't yet had a chance to try out the new search feature. 

But in a long, well-argued piece at CNET, Stephen Shankland argues that, either way, Google had no choice – it needed to bolster its social search capability. 

Google, Shankland writes, "can change how it presents search results derived from social services. It can change what services it chooses to listen to. It can offer different actions that people can take when seeing social information. It can give people different controls over how exactly their own social content is indexed for later inclusion in search."

Still, Shankland adds, "Google can't simply ignore social information. Because – perhaps you may have noticed – social connections are a force that's rebuilding the Internet." He's right, in the humble opinion of this blogger. Google will undoubtedly weather some complaints about the security, privacy, of practicality of the new Search Plus Your World feature, and the tech giant may even be forced to make a few corrections. 

But as the social Web continues to grow, Google must find a way to incorporate social media results. And for the time being, Search Plus Your World is it. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!