Google Integrates Google+ on SERPs, Inciting Anti-Trust Concerns
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will extend its current investigations on Google to include its recent addition of Google+, Google's own social networking service, into its search engine results pages (SERPs), according to Bloomberg.
Google's search now features content shared by those in the users' "circles," including articles, posts, and photos, which adds another level of personalization on the results. A new functionality also allows users to switch back and forth between personalized and public search results.
Twitter issued a statement commenting that the move was bad for “people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users,” adding that its users' tweets often contain the most relevant results for search queries. Google quickly retorted that Twitter had chosen not to renew its contract with Google — Google used to pay Twitter in order to access its real-time feeds. Privacy watchdogs and organizations also cried foul, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which said "Google's business practices raise concerns related to both competition and the implementation of the Commission’s consent order," referring to a settlement that the FTC reached with Google on privacy safeguards.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google would integrate Facebook and Twitter results to compete with Google+ if the companies allowed access to their private data.
Google has been expanding its personalized search results since 2007. You can read about the complete update at the company's official blog.