Tweets to Appear in Google and Microsoft Search Results
Yesterday, both Bing and Google announced that they had respectively struck deals to index the 140-character bits of information found on Twitter and compile them in real-time search results. Twitter currently has its own tool for searching Tweets, but results are organized by chronology. Bing and Google will be applying algorithms to ensure users get the most relevant and trusted results, hopefully bringing order to the chaos that is finding info on Twitter.
Bing has already posted a beta version of its Twitter search tool -- www.bing.com/twitter/ -- providing a quick glance at the hottest topics and a collection of related links shared on Twitter. Google, on the other hand, has no concrete work to show off thus far. Google announced in a blog post that it will launch a "product" in the coming months showing how Twitter-aided search results might look. The Bing Twitter beta shows a short list of the most recent Tweets matching a search, and also lists the most popular links posted on Twitter (and tweets that include those links).
On the other hand, Google may only show Twitter results for certain searches. One specific line in Google's blog post ("...next time you search for something that can be aided by [italics ours] a real-time observation...") leads us to believe this will be the case. Whether the search results will be integrated or show up separately (like the image search function on Google) hasn't been announced yet, but Google seems to be implying tweets will be included in the main findings.
The Internet is understandably abuzz about the news. Abhishek, at indiBlogger.net, has a list of suggestions for Google about how to properly integrate the results. Most notably, he recommends adding a ReTweet button, something the Bing results already include. TechCrunch speculates these deals may be the solution to Twitter's money-making woes, and implies that Google and Bing might be paying Twitter for access to its data. James Turner at O'Reilly Media explains the importance of these deals for Twitter, suggesting it's "full text searching capabilities that make things really usable on the web," and adding, "you're not really part of Web 2.0 until you're searchable by Google."
The ability to get (really) fresh information about major news events, hot topics, or even just simple things like traffic conditions could completely change how people use search engines. Searchers could turn to Google or Bing to find out why a group of cop cars just went screaming by, or why the highway was backed up for several miles. Beyond first person reports of news, such searches could also provide a running commentary on the Internet, something with which Google has flirted in the past, but never developed. Shocked as we are to hear ourselves say it, Twitter could be the answer. [From: Official Google Blog, Bing Blog, Twitter Blog, indiBlogger, TechCrunch, and O'Reilly]