Google is the top Internet Company in the world today. Its search capabilities are massive and its services are deeply entrenched in the daily deeds and tasks of the modern Internet user. A single change in the algorithm of search engine can send many businesses packing! It has a lot of power but people love Google because it doesn’t act evil. Well, companies like Facebook and Twitter don’t think so. They are calling Google’s new addition to search, ‘Search, plus your world’ a big mistake and an unfair trade practice.
First, let’s get down to what Google’s ‘Search, Plus your world’ (SPYW) is. As we mentioned before, it is a social plug-in into the search algorithm which throws up results personalized to you. They have added Google+ support to it and you might see ‘relevant’ results from the fledgling new social network. Here’s how Google looks at this addition.
Not looking evil, eh?
Facebook and gang are claiming that this Google+ addition is indeed really dangerous for the open web. Since everyone searches on Google, you will get only Google+ profile and news results thus effectively blocking out rival social networking information. Twitter has already opposed this earlier. They have now founded a website where they are going to educate people on why this new search is wrong. The website is named, ‘Focus on the user’ and has information about how SPYW throws up irrelevant results. Here is a snapshot showing the difference between normal search and the new Social search.
They also have a video walk-through which gives more information about their findings and intent.
This is very interesting stuff when you look at how much grey area there is in this whole issue. Google’s search engine is a proprietary technology from Google. It was built as a service to discover the web which then gave rise to SEO as a field. Google has diversified since then and has gotten onto many things like mobile, videos, email etc. all the while getting its revenue from advertising on its search engine. Now doesn’t Google get an opportunity to leverage its infrastructure to promote their own products? Of course, it doesn’t sound right but then again it is not illegal either. Google might face some anti-trust issues with their new feature but we don’t think it is all that bad. Facebook and Twitter do not really have search capacities like Google but then they don’t need to. Their users can search within the service itself.
What we do not understand is why would Facebook, Twitter and Firefox look at Google search like a social service and take it for granted. It is a Google product. Google sought out to renew the Twitter real-time search plug-in contract and Twitter cancelled it. Now it is kinda stupid of them to accuse Google of unfairness. The question can be asked in reverse. Does Facebook show Google or Google+ ads/results for free? We don’t think so. Well, Google does show Facebook results but it cannot get deep because their API’s are not open. Same thing with Twitter. We agree to that fact that information on the web should be free but Google+ linking with Google search is a smart move which will help the user search for content and people with ease.
The real thing that people and these companies are ignoring is that the ‘SPYW’ filter can switched off with a single button. If you don’t want it, you can simply shut it off and search the normal way.
Do you think Google’s SPYW is evil? Do let us know.