Twitter: Google+ Integration In Google Search Is “Bad” For Everyone

Twitter logoIt’s only been a few hours since Google announced “Search, Plus Your World”, a deeper integration of content from two of its own products — Google+ and Picasa — into Google’s main search results. And one of Google’s major competitors in the social space is already speaking out against it.

In a statement sent a short time ago to a number of news outlets, Twitter says that Google is making it harder for people to find tweets and Twitter account information in Google’s search results, and says that’s “bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users.”

Here’s the full text of Twitter’s statement:

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.

As we wrote here on Marketing Land earlier, this is the latest in a long line of ways that Google is pushing Google+ across its properties. And, as Danny Sullivan suggested in his Search Engine Land article, there may be additional antitrust concerns — justified or not — from Google’s move to feature more content from its own products so prominently in search results.

In that piece, Google says it would be open to including content from sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but Google doesn’t have any agreements with them right now. John Battelle suggested earlier today that “hell will freeze over” before the companies come to any such agreement.

We have an email out to Facebook for their reaction. We’ll update this story if/when we get a reply.

Postscript: See the following stories for important updates:

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Google: Google+ | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • AJ Kohn

    So people aren’t going to Twitter to find things so instead you want Google to make it easier for people to find those things on Twitter? 

    Does anyone else find this … ridiculous? 

    At a minimum, perhaps Twitter should pay attention to configuring their subdomains correctly so that multiple versions of the same account don’t crop up on search results. Or does Twitter think Google should just do that work for them as well.

  • kinthiri

    This is exactly my sentiment as well. If Twitter’s product was so great, whats stopping them running their own functioning search rather than the junk they have now? They’re the ones that produce an API to which they charge search engines (and everyone else) for access. Its my understanding they ended the agreement with Google, not the other way around. And their rel=nofollow has been around so long simply because of the spam problem Twitter still doesn’t have a handle on.

    I stopped using Twitter daily in 7/2011 when G+ took over as being far more suitable for me personally. I am guessing there are also a LOT of other people out there for whom Google+ has also replaced Twitter. If there wasn’t, they wouldn’t be kicking up a storm now.

    Twitter needs to grow up and stop being such a whiney little child. The fact they can’t even make their own efforts to develop their own search tech that makes genuine use of their own firehose, and instead rely on others paying them for the privilege to do so, shows just how far down the priorities of search really are.

    What twitter is proving is that their platform, which hasn’t materially changed in a very long time, is no longer enough. They’re almost admitting they need others to keep them propped up. Maybe now they’ll start focusing on developing their product rather than just rearranging the deck chairs and coming up with new interfaces over the same old product. Lipstick on a pig and all that.

    And to be honest, the only thing I still use Twitter for is to receive civil defence warnings from @NZcivildefence via SMS. That is literally it. Sorry Twitter, but 140 characters is useless to me, and you’re just not relevant to my internet any more.

  • Lonny Dunn

    This is really just old news.  A few months back, Google announced that it would not renew it’s contract to prioritise Tweets.  Google was sending a signal to Twitter that it was not interested in giving so much weight to each tweet in it’s algorithm. 

    However, Kinthiri, above, your comments about Twitter search are a bit off base.  Twitter’s search far surpasses Facebook’s for instance, as far as locating someone, or a subject or news, and it is an extremely undervalued asset which Twitter possesses.  Type in any word, and you will get thousands upon thousands of hits in real time, including links and real people’s responses, and heartfelt opinions.  Further, Kinthiri, above, you ignore, or close your Twitter account at your own peril.  Even though it’s smaller than Facebook, analytics, studies, research, and our own annecdotal evidence prove time and again that Twitter accels at driving Blog Hits better than any other site on the planet, better than LinkedIn, Better than Facebook by a  3 to one margin, and better than waiting for Google’s mystery cypher to get you to the top of the “key word” list, only to find out the rules have changed.   Twitter will get you readers to your blog faster than any other method ever created by anyone.   So that might be something you want to re examine and get back into.

    This is not to say that Tweets are completely ignored by Google, only that they are not going to carry as much leverage.   Now, I am certainly not happy with Google’s decisions, make no mistake.  With over 200,000 followers under management, and many more in managed accounts, I would love to see the old arrangement.  But business is business, the strong survive, and the rest observe the strong. 

    Is Google bullying? Yes.  Does it risk anti trust violations?  Probably, but much must be determined and established in a court of law before that matter will ever come to the forefront.  Will Google win?  Likely not.  Twitter has what Google does not.   It has “cool”… It has Celebrities and popular appeal behind it. 

    And that can’t be bullied away.

    Lonny Dunn Tweets at @ProNetworkBuild

  • Chris B

    Google is engaging in monopolistic bullying by not paying Twitter $x million for their content? Cute.

  • kinthiri

    “Twitter’s search far surpasses Facebook’s for instance, as far as locating someone, or a subject or news, and it is an extremely undervalued asset which Twitter possesses.”

    Really? Last time I did any search on Twitter, I got more spam than anything else. Last time I tried to drill down into the subject matter using Twitter itself, I ended up getting nothing but retweets of opinions and very little of actual value. Twitter search is crap. 

    If I search for someone on Facebook, I can easily find the person I want. If I search for a topic on Facebook, I will get lots of communities dedicated to that subject, followed by external links to sites away from Facebook about the subject, and quite often those links are relevant because of the Like button factor.

    Twitter search is useless for everything except finding a twitter name I already know and could easily type into the address bar on my own.

    “Even though it’s smaller than Facebook, analytics, studies, research, and our own annecdotal evidence prove time and again that Twitter accels at driving Blog Hits better than any other site on the planet”

    Seriously? What brand coolaid are you drinking? I want some of that. Did you make this with a straight face or where you smirking to yourself when you typed it? I used to run several blogs and contribute to several more. I had significantly more engagement and traffic from sites that were about similar subjects to my own than I did from Twitter. In fact, I had more engagement from natural search traffic because people were actually wanting to know about the subjects I was blogging about. 

    Twitter produces large traffic. Sure. If you spam your blog to thousands of people after tricking them into following you first. Digg and Slashdot produced far higher levels of traffic and even better engagement than Twitter ever did.

    Twitter traffic is all about people coming to look at a link they’ve seen flash by in their stream, realise its not something they’re interested in and then leave. There is little to no engagement. If all you want are the hits, great. But if you’re more interested in building community or engaging in discussions with intelligent individuals, Twitter is pretty poor at that. I don’t have numbers, but I can say with confidence that the amount of *engaged users* generated from Twitter traffic is microscopic. But hey, if all you want are hits and ad impressions, you’re golden.

    Twitter has what Google does not.   It has “cool”… It has Celebrities and popular appeal behind it.”
    LOL! Yeah, thats why Twitter is kicking up such a massive scream right? Because they have no concerns about users leaving them in massive numbers and joining the Google+ network. And they have every confidence in their ability to hold on to their users when those users start discovering Google+ content amongst their search results.

    Twitter is outdated, has not in any way innovated in years. All it has done is buy 3rd party clients and changed the way its website looks a few times.

    Until Twitter can get a handle on its spam problem, it is going to continue bleeding users to other networks. And as users discover what Google+ has to offer, including those same celebrities you talk about, why would they go to Twitter to get the same things they can get from Google+ or Facebook?

    Twitter is to Google+ as MySpace is to Facebook. Get used to it.

  • SEO Firm Atlanta

    “Change” is necessary. It comes with some good and some bad things.

  • ✔

    Matt, what you predict now? do you think twitter will grow in 2012 or not? would love to read your predicts

  • Matt McGee

    I’m not much for making predictions but yes, it’s pretty safe to say Twitter will continue to grow. I did just write about some things I think they need to do in 2012, so hopefully that’s an acceptable substitute for predictions. :-)

    8 Things I Hope Are On Twitter’s 2012 To-Do List

  • Alison Mars

    You guy’s sound like very serious social net workers, it’s all a bit much for me. It seams like every day that another social platform opens up and I’m supposed to keep accounts with all of them and monitor them all to market my business. Well frankly I just don’t have the time because I have a business to run and a family at home so I outsourced all of my SocioViral marketing to Magicbus who now do it all for me and they can bring in so much more business for me.

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