Twitter rebukes Google over search changes

Microblogging platform slams Web titan for implementing "bad" changes to search engine, making it harder for people to find relevant information.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Google's latest transformation of its search engine to make Web search more personal by displaying results from social networks such as its own Google+ social network and Picasa photo service, has riled microblogging service Twitter into describing the changes as "bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users".

"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 microblogging site said in a statement Tuesday, which was reposted by AllThingsD. "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."

The company's response came after Google announced major changes to its search engine on the same day. The search giant said in an official blog post: "We're transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships... Today, we're taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features...to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we're just getting started."

It said that with the changes, users can opt to have personalized, social results displayed more prominently, such as content culled from the Google+ social network as well as images from Google's online photo service Picasa, over other Web search results.

In response to Twitter's comments, Google said on its G+ official page: "We are a bit surprised by Twitters' 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." Google had, up til then, generated real-time Twitter messages within its search results.

This latest development comes amid antitrust scrutiny on Google for allegedly favoring its own services in search rankings and listings.

Editorial standards