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Twitter says Google search changes are bad for internet users

Twitter has accused the search giant of boosting posts from its Google+ social network when returning search results – and ignoring information from other sites.

Screenshot of Google's 'Search plus Your World'
Screenshot of Google's 'Search plus Your World'
Image: Google via YouTube

MICROBLOGGING SITE TWITTER has criticised changes made by Google to its search results page, saying that the alterations are bad for “people, publishers, news organisations and Twitter users”.

In a statement, Twitter accused Google of boosting information posted on its newly-launched social networking site Google+ in standard search results.

“For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results anytime they wanted to find something on the Internet,” the company said. “Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information… 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”, it said.

The company added that it was “concerned” that as a result of the changes being applied by Google finding such information will be “harder for everyone”, reports The Inquirer.

Google has explained that it imposed the changes with a view to “transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships”. It introduced three new features yesterday, as part of “Search plus Your World”, which are currently only being applied in the US: Personal Results, Profiles in Search, and People and Pages (see Google’s promotional video on the new features).

A spokesperson for Google voiced “surprise” at Twitter’s comments, telling Reuters: “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”.

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In 2009, Twitter and Google signed an agreement that allowed Google to present a real-time feed of tweets within its search results – however, that agreement expired in July 2011.

The Guardian reports that neither Twitter nor Facebook information generally appears in Google searches because neither company gives unlimited access to their content with Google.

Read: Google launches new ‘personal results’ feature within search>

Read: Social media use in Ireland no longer growing, poll finds>

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