Page Rage Escalates As Google Cancels Twitter Android Meeting

By Sarah Lacy , written on January 26, 2012

From The News Desk

We've heard from insiders that Google's PR strategy to the Don't Be Evil toolbar bombshell-- which exposed just how much the search giant is meddling with search results-- is just to stay quiet until it blows over. And then press ahead with the "Search-plus-your-world-or-else" strategy.

While much of the press has moved on to newer stories, we're refusing to fall victim to the ADD news cycle on this one. Even if it tanks our traffic, we are going to keep digging and digging and bitching and bitching until we get an answer from Google over whether or not the promises made back in 2005 have changed today. Sorry, Google, your promise of search impartiality to users made you billions of dollars. You owe them an answer. You are too important to the Web to sweep this under the rug.

Not surprisingly, we're turning up several little gems of information in the process. Today's tidbit highlights just how tense the relationships between Twitter and Google-- and no doubt Facebook and Google--are becoming as the spat continues.

A well-placed source tells us that Google's Android team was supposed to meet with Twitter at CES about how to make Twitter work better on Android. Then, the Search Plus Your World controversy began. Eric Schmidt claimed that Google couldn't index Twitter and Facebook properly because those companies don't allow Twitter to access their data. Twitter openly refuted this: The reality is Google's bots hit Twitter hundreds of millions of times per day, sending 1,500 queries per second. Google has those Tweets, whether Twitter likes it or not.

The Google brain trust was so irritated with Twitter's statements that the Android meeting was abruptly called off, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There's still no sign of the meeting being rescheduled.

Once again, the obsession with Google+ appears clouding the company's stated mission. Android's whole raison d'être is to be the more open alternative to Apple. Fighting with one of the world's most important mobile applications to prop up a competitive product is shortsighted at best and blatantly anti-competitive at worst.

Sadly, Google can get away with these kinds of tactics on the search engine more easily, because Google has such a strong entrenched position there. But Android's hold on the market is far more tenuous. If Google starts alienating core applications, it'll reflect poorly on Android's user experience, greatly benefitting the iPhone.

Note to Page: When you make Apple look like the easy and reasonable vendor to deal with, you've done something dramatically wrong.