Twitter Calls Google’s Search plus Your World a ‘Bad Day for the Internet’

Not everyone is happy with Google’s decision to integrate its social network, Google+ with its popular search engine.  Not long after Google announced Search plus Your World in a blog post, Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray fired off this tweet in response:

The biggest complaint seems to be that Google+ would be able to push its own content to the top of the search results ahead of Twitter’s, which would undermine the democratic nature of Google’s signature page-ranking system.  The official statement from Twitter, sent to AllThingsDigital, was this:

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.

Google responded publicly, “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 (http://goo.gl/chKwi), and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions.”  ( The code “rel=nofollow” instructs search engines not to follow links in order to reduce spam.)

Google’s strategy from the beginning has been to integrate its other applications into Google+, from Gmail to Picasa albums to YouTube, which makes joining the network more of an inevitability for users than a choice.  Now the other social networks are feeling the effects.  For lack of a more elegant explanation, Twitter and Google seem to have business-end negotiations to work out to make the new personalized search experience fair for everyone.

Related: Google Is Serious About Social – Introducing “Search Plus Your World”