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Twitter lashes out at Google search changes

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 09:45

San Francisco: Twitter lashed out at changes Google Inc unveiled for its search engine on Tuesday, describing the changes as "bad" for consumers and for Web publishers.

Twitter, a microblogging service which allows its users to broadcast short, 140-character messages to groups of "followers," said Google`s changes would make it tougher for people to find the breaking news often shared by users of its service.

"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 (search) results," the company said in a statement.

"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," the statement continued.

Twitter`s criticism, which came hours after Google announced new features aimed at making search results more personalized, underscored the growing competition between the Web companies. And it comes at a time when Google is facing antitrust scrutiny for favoring its own services within its search results.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to answer a question about whether the company might reach out to antitrust regulators about Google`s changes.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A 2009 agreement, allowing Google to offer a real-time feed of Twitter messages within its search results, expired in July.

Google launched a social network, dubbed Google+, in June that offers many of the capabilities available in Twitter and in Facebook.

With Tuesday`s changes to Google`s search engine, photos and posts from Google+ will increasingly appear within the search results.

The changes effectively create customized search results for people who are logged in to Google. A person who searches for the term "Hawaii," for example, might find private photos that their friends have shared on Google+ as well as public information about the islands.

Twitter General Counsel Alex Macgillivray, a former Google attorney, said in a Tweet on Tuesday that Google`s changes "warped" Web search and represented a "bad day for the Internet."

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 09:45
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