Twitter unhappy with Google’s personalised search plans


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Twitter is always on the forefront of breaking news. As soon as anything happens, it spreads over Twitter like wildfire. Twitter is often the first place check to find the most recent links, discussions etc.

In the past Google actually had an agreement with Twitter to have a real-time feed of related tweets appearing in the search results, but that expired in July 2011. These Tweets were often the most relevant search results.

Now though Google is trying to make its search engine more personalised for people logged into Google+, where results that your friends may have +1’d or images they’ve uploaded to their profile from a particular travel destination might start popping up in among the image search. They call this update “Search Plus Your World” (SPY World?).

This feature could be handy for some people, where they search for something like “Disneyland” and find images of a friend’s recent holiday there and could lead them to ask that friend for travel advice. However, because Google seems to be favouring their own social network, it appears to be angering Twitter. Google is now under scrutiny for favouring its own services within its results whilst ignoring others, which might make business sense, but seems rather unfair.

Mashable has a great argument about how this works:

“So while a search for “WWE Twitter” still returns the organization’s Twitter feed before its Google+ page, “@WWE” returns the same results as “WWE” — in this case, with Google+ results first. Somehow a search for “+WWE” succeeds in returning a Google+ profile.”

“Even without the @ sign being indexed, however, the concern over the results for “@WWE” are valid: About 24,900 people have +1ed or added WWE to their circles on Google+ — but 792,642 people follow WWE on Twitter. In this case, and many others, the Twitter page is a more relevant social result than the Google+ page. Twitter ranks higher than Google+ for the WWE in Yahoo, AOL and Bing results.”

This does sound rather suspicious. Google+ is a DoFollow site and backlinks from it are coming from a Page Rank 8 home page. The 1+’s given from Google+ members are also DoFollow links. This might have a small influence on why Google+ profiles show up so high compared to Twitter profiles for those particular things. Twitter links are all NoFollow these days, which seemed to be due to Google’s influence. This seems rather unfair. So it’s no wonder Twitter is unhappy.

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