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Google Move Pushes Pols Toward +

Politics lives on Twitter, but the search giant is pushing hard for its own social network.

Posted on January 11, 2012, at 12:25 p.m. ET

The launch last year of Google+, which got real traction in some online communities, has done little to dent Twitter's near monopoly on the political conversation these days.

But Google, as the Times reported yesterday, seems to be using the leverage of its search to give Google+ a boost: Searches will now deliver Google+ results over Twitter results, even if a politician -- as is true of many -- has a hyperactive, widely-read Twitter feed and a moribund Google+ presence.

The move is drawing complaints about Google from users and rivals; it may genuinely also have the practical effect -- presumably what Google wants -- of forcing political campaigns, companies, and even individuals to update (or just delete) their Google+ profiles, which have suddenly been made kind of default home pages.

The leading presidential campaigns, however, need not worry. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are both all over Google+. Lesser candidates, not so much.

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