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Google's new personalized search raises antitrust concerns

Ed Oswald Betanews 01/11/2012 19:51
Google's new personalized search raises antitrust concerns - Google

Google is diving deeper into personalized search results, debuting a feature called "Google Plus Your World". But the debut of the service, which pulls results from your own content plus social circles from Google-owned services may catch the ire of regulators.

The company is fighting off calls on Capitol Hill over antitrust claims, and in September found itself testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. Senators wanted to gauge the power the Mountain View, Calif. company has over the search industry, and favoring Google's own service is sure to raise questions.

Personalized results are nothing new for Google. Starting in 2005, the company began ranking search results based on personal behaviors. This expanded two years later as the company integrated Google Account with its search functionality, and in 2009 Google began to integrate social results into the mix.

These social results are now intermixed with web results, and Tuesday's changes take it to the next level. Google now pulls from the user's own social accounts on Google as well as those people connected to him or her. Google+ gets tighter integration into the new search page, with relevant profiles and pages showing up in autocomplete as the user types a query.