Google search changes set off uproar

Twitter lambasted the changes as "bad" for consumers and Web publishers. Meanwhile, a privacy watchdog group is threatening to complain to the Federal Trade Commission.
Google says it's simply trying to make searches deeper and more personalized for millions of people.
The kerfuffle that began Tuesday, shortly after Google announced new features, underscores growing rivalry between the Web companies. And it comes as Google is facing antitrust scrutiny for favoring its own services in search results.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center said Wednesday that it's considering a complaint to the FTCthat Google's new search feature raises privacy and antitrust concerns.
Google's changes blend information such as photos, comments and news posted on its Google+ social network into users' search results. Google+ members will have the option of seeing Google search results that are customized to their interests and connections. For instance, a photo of the San Francisco 49ers or a friend's recommendation for a bar could show up.
Twitter claims Google's changes would make it tougher for people to find the breaking news often shared by users of its service. "We're concerned that as a result of Google's changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone," the statement said. "We think that's bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users."
Twitter's Matt Graves declined to say whether the company might reach out to antitrust regulators about Google's changes.
Google said it was "a bit surprised by Twitter's comments … because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last (July)." The 2009 accord let Google offer a real-time feed of Twitter messages within its search results.
Google has been working for years on its social search engine to better tailor results. In June, it launched the Google+ social network, offering capabilities similar to Twitter and Facebook. Google+ has 40 million users, the company says.
Facebook, with more than 800 million members, has chosen to share most of its data with Microsoft's Bing search engine, not Google's. Facebook declined to comment on Google's changes.

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