Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google’s Plans to Promote Google+ in Search Get a Poor Reception

It’s not at SOPA protest levels yet, but some Internet thought leaders are none too happy about Google’s announcement today that it will prominently feature Google+ posts and users in search results.

Most prominently, Twitter General Counsel Alex Macgillivray called the launch a “bad day for the Internet.” Though obviously his loyalties lie with Twitter, it’s a particularly notable charge given “Amac” was previously a lawyer for Google.


Macgillivray linked to a blog post by John Battelle (who wrote the book “The Search” about Google) that said, “Ick. Remember when Google used to be a neutral player that crawled the Whole Dern Web? So sad to see that era pass.”

Elsewhere, pro-blogger-turned-VC MG Siegler waved the antitrust flag, while NYU law professor James Grimmelmann wrote, “Today is a good day to turn off Google+ and delete your Google Profile. I just did.”

Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic added, “I just can’t help but wonder whether Google’s new social mission and the original Google mission will keep coming into conflict. And in the race to protect its flank from Facebook, Google will lose track of why we loved them in the first place.”

Google is now encouraging users to "upgrade to Google+"

When I asked Google yesterday about why it didn’t include services like Facebook and Google in search, Google Fellow Ben Gomes replied, “The key thing here is we only have access to content on Google. We’re open to other types of content, but in order to provide secure and consistent access, we can only provide what’s in Google, where we know the privacy settings and have the relevant graph and signals.”

As for the actual “Search plus Your World” features that Google promised today for English-speaking users of, they don’t seem to be available yet for many people. However, Google is already promoting the feature on its U.S. home page, and prompting people who click through to “Upgrade to Google+.” (Having a Google+ account isn’t required for the new personal search features, but obviously it enhances the experience.)

Asked for a timetable for the launch, a Google spokesperson said, “It started rolling out this morning and will roll out to everyone over the next couple days.” She did not give an estimate for how many users have the features so far.

Update: Twitter Complains About Google Giving Preference to Google+ Content

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work