Google Searches Getting Personal

Integration of Google+ content sparks backlash

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2012 4:58 AM CST | Updated Jan 11, 2012 7:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Google's latest search revamp is a blow to both privacy and competition, critics complain. The search giant is integrating search results with content from its Google+ social network, meaning searchers will soon see results from content they have shared with friends as well as from the wider Internet, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Your world was missing from search until now," a Google exec says. "We are bringing your world into search."

Google has offered personalized results to some degree for years, but many see linking search results to its social network as a step too far. "I don’t like it for its effect on competition, and I don’t like it for what it does to people’s privacy,” a professor specializing in Internet law tells the New York Times. “It breaks down a very clear conceptual divide between things that are private and things that are public online."

As an example, Google showed personalized results from a searcher who named his dog after the chikoo tree.
As an example, Google showed personalized results from a searcher who named his dog after the chikoo tree.   (Google)
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