When undertaking a search the new update, known as ‘Search, Plus Your World’, provides search users with results drawn in part, from content shared by people in the user’s Google Plus network. However, the change has caused disagreement in the tech industry not least among Google’s competition in the world of social networks.
Twitter was particularly critical of the change describing it as a ‘bad day for the internet’ and claiming that it ‘warped’ search results. Other industry experts voiced concerns that the update skewed results and led to a decline in the world’s most popular search engine’s ability to provide the most relevant results. They claimed that the failure to include results from other social networks like Facebook and Twitter was a mistake.
Google hit back that its terms of service with both those networks did not allow it to perform the kind of deep searches required to include the information in their results and claimed it was prepared to discuss the issue with rival companies.
Quality of search results was not the only issue seized on by critics of the update. Google, which has already drawn the attention of lawmakers with regard to its potential monopoly over online advertising, was – according to some observers – in breach of anti-trust regulations regarding Search, Plus Your World.
They argued that Google’s dominant position in the world of search did not allow it to discriminate against rivals.