With the launch of its updated personal search results, Google introduced a massive change to its search algorithm today. The reaction among the tech pundits so far has been mixed, especially given that Google – which was once considered a neutral player – now seems to be giving highly preferential treatment to its own social network. Twitter, which used to have a partnership with Google until 2011, just released a statement that expresses "concern" over the fact that Google may now be making it harder "for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users" to find information from its network.
It's worth noting that Google still uses some public data from other social networks to boost the search rankings of websites your friends may have shared online. It is clearly giving higher priority to its own network, however.
Here is the full statement from Twitter:
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.
On one end Twitter tries to sell their [public] data to Google (and others) at an outrageous price, and on the other end they complain that it's not sufficiently represented in google's SERPs? Seems a bit contradictory to me.
However, yes, I am worried that eventually Google will favor their own properties against competing services, which is why again, said services should implement open protocols because that would force Google to either say they're against the open web [flat], or just consider all web sites equally.
How it's bad for Twitter, I get. However, I still fail to see how this is bad for “People, Publishers, News Organizations.”
@julien51 I never quite got why the Twitter/Google relationship went sour. I always thought it was b/c Google felt it didn't need Twitter anymore. If the price was really the dealbreaker, that definitely puts a different spin on Twitter's own spin...
@ChrisPirillo I guess the way they see it: if it's bad for us, it's also bad for our users... not sure I with them either, to be honest.
I think that Google wanted the data for free, as they do with 99.999999% of the public web data. Whether it's legit is another question, but I can certainly understand why they wouldn't want to do an exception with Twitter.
As a matter of facts, they do still get it for free, but not exhaustively thru their regular crawling.
I think Twitter played a very dangerous game there and that they lost this battle : they had more to lose than Google at not being indexed by it in realtime and they indeed lost, which is why they are sour now.
@FredericL Yeah, no. I like Twitter, but this move only hurts them - not their users. Their users (and publishers, news organizations) should be rejoicing for more choice.