Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expanding its investigation of Google to include Google+ after the launch of Search, plus Your World last week.
The FTC has been looking into Google for months, as the institution wonders if Google’s search engine favors the company’s products, such as Gmail, Picasa and now Google+, on its SERPs. Search, plus Your World integrates data from Google+ into Google search results for logged-in users.
The government’s investigation into Google has gone on for months. Now, it appears that the sole integration of Google+ into search results, rather than Facebook or Twitter content, may be its undoing. However, Google has been open in saying that it has attempted to work with the two platforms.
In fact, until last July, Twitter data was included in Google search results, but the microblogging site opted to end the relationship.
As a result of Search, plus Your World, both Facebook and Twitter have denounced Google. Twitter’s general counsel Alex Macgillivray posted a Tweet last Tuesday saying it was “a bad day for the internet” upon the launch of SPYW. Meanwhile, Facebook has said that negotiations with Google broke down in 2009 over privacy issues, which Google has flatly denied.
For the time being, though, Google and Search, plus Your World is here to stay. Brafton recently reported that 38 percent of Americans using search rely solely on Google. As the government scrutiny intensifies, some may opt to search elsewhere.