Google Launches Personal Search Results, to Twitter's Displeasure
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
January 11 2012 02:55 PM ET
Google has begun rolling out what it calls "Search plus Your World" as part of every Google search. Search result pages will include Google user profiles, shared photos and related Google+ posts from circles, all labeled “Personal Results.”
Google is banking on the idea that people care more about the opinions and experiences of people they know rather than those of strangers. But the folks over at Twitter are not so sure. Hours after Google announced it would feature results from its new social network Google+, Twitter said the new listings might bury Tweets that are of more interest to users.
Twitter, a former real-time contributor to Google search results, issued a statement reading:
“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.”
Up until last July, Google search included a streaming list of Tweets related to searches on its results pages. At about the time Google+ went public, Twitter ended its agreement with Google, so the Twitter “firehose” of real-time Tweets no longer appeared on search result pages.
Google does not feature rival Facebook posts or Flickr photos. Instead the company highlights content from its own products, including Google+ and Picasa. Google’s YouTube has yet to be integrated into social search.
Move over, people-search companies
Twitter is probably not the only company concerned about Google’s new direction. People-search companies could face stiff competition. Not only will Search plus Your World make it easier for a searcher to identify the right “John Smith” by including his Google profile information, photos and related content from the Web, the searcher will be able to immediately connect with the person through Google+.
Google says it is transforming the world’s most popular search engine (Google claims a 65 percent share of the search market in the U.S., and a slightly higher global share) into one that understands not only content but people and relationships. Personal Results are marked with a person icon to the left of listings. Alternately, searchers can choose to view only their personal results on a separate page.
Google emphasizes that its personal results are not public — only you see results connected to your search and contacts. If your mother entered the same search term, she would see results from her connections; the only results from you that she'd see would be the ones you had shared with her or the public.
Search plus Your World will become available over the next few days to people who are signed into Google and are searching on https://www.google.com in English.