Google+ Search Controversy – A Beginner’s Guide

Google are now integrating Google+ profiles into their search results. This has caused a large amount of controversy because they are giving their own social network prominence and not including Twitter or Facebook results. This is being regarded as potentially anti-competitive; that they are using a legal competitive advantage in one market (search) to leverage an advantage in another (social networks). Google have then proceeded the fuel the fire by being completely disingenuous about their actions.

Here’s a timeline in links:

First, Google’s announcement.

Here’s an example of a Google+ profile appearing in a search, clearly promoting G+ over the Twitter profile that the search is obviously for, and here’s the search that proves that Google have the profile in their search database.

Here’s Twitter’s response (emailed to MG Siegler) indicating that they are not best pleased.

Here’s Google responding that it is all Twitter’s fault by not renewing their data feed agreement.

Here’s Eric Schmidt responding to the allegations (video), in perhaps the most awesome display of unflinching nerves and poker-facedness I’ve ever seen in the face of crystal-clear questioning about Google’s dodgy practices.

Here’s the blog post of the guy who performed the above interview.

Here’s MG Siegler’s take on it, with some good explanations about why Google are being completely deceptive.

Finally, another take on the whole thing, from a marketing perspective, and what it means for business and SEO.

What a strange old game. They’re all playing it, but at the end of the day Google are manipulating the search results, hiding pages they are fully able to show, in order to show users not what they are looking for, but what Google want them to see. This is a bad thing, and a very dangerous game for Google to play.

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