Thoughts About Twitter’s Criticism Of Google’s “Search, plus Your World” [OP-ED]

Posted Jan 11, 2012

Yesterday Google announced a new feature called “Search, plus Your World.” This feature would integrate Google+ status updates and profile information into Google’s search engine. Microblogging company has publicly said that the new features are “bad” for users because it would make information harder to find. Twitter also pointed out that providing real-time and personalized information will not help Google compete with them.

“Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information. As we’ve seen time again, news breaks first on Twitter. As a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant (search) results,” stated Google. “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 general counsel for policy, trust and safety, Alex Macgillivray sent out a tweet that the update from Google was a “bad day for the Internet.”

Google was confused by Twitter’s opinions about “Search, plus Your World.”

“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 (, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions,” said the company in a Google+ status update.

I have to agree with Twitter in this case! Google has been able to maintain a certain sense of quality by using the PageRank algorithm. When I conduct searches on Google, I want the company to tell me which websites have the most clout for the information I am looking for. For example, if I search for “dog,” I want to see results about dogs that would be relevant to me. I do not care about what color outfit Britney Spears’ dog is wearing or what my friends’ dogs are currently doing.

If I wanted that information, I would look at their Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ profiles directly. Searching for resources and social networking status updates should be separated. They do not go hand-in-hand. I would not go to Twitter’s search engine if I wanted to find historical information about past U.S. Presidents. I would go to immediately for that information.