Twitter screws Bing & Google on stage @Web 2.0 summit

Claire Stokoe

OK, so it's a little late in the day, but i wanted to chew it over a bit. So it’s happened Twitter and Google, and all the non believers of twitters dominance are suddenly holding their breath just in case it’s suddenly not true. (breathe guys... )

It was announced at the 2.0 Summit, only a few hours after Microsoft had made the announcement that the Bing search engine would index real-time content from Twitter and Facebook.

Google’s blog at around the same time said that making this decision was due to “We believe that search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data” they also say that “they look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months”

Of course Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the recent web 2.0 summit, “I did not try to buy Twitter "If companies approach us, we definitely consider any a opportunities."

Twitter and Google serps deal
Twitter and Google serps deal

He also spoke very highly of twitter co founder Even Williams founder of Pyra Labs, which Google acquired for its Blogger assets in 2005 "To see him... succeed even more dramatically a second time, I think it reaffirmed a difference an entrepreneur can make to me," Brin said.

Even Williams response was that “We've partnered with Google to index the entire world of public tweets as fast as possible and present them to their users in an organised and relevant fashion”

A lot of industry people are sceptical saying that "real-time search" may have only limited application for people other than news junkies, sports fanatics and others with a need to follow the minute-by-minute flow of information on the Web.

Here's a very funny interview from the Web 2.0 Summit 09: Evan Williams and John Battelle. Were John Battelle desperately wants to know about the money behind the deal.

Google’s Marissa Mayer describes that the Twitter integration will be

“it will be integrated into our search results page so the idea is that for things like Michael Jackson, google wave some of these fast rising queries where there is a period of time where there is tweets about that topic and the definitive news article or blog post hasn’t been written yet we really would like to showcase the tweets in order to really answer that question. Its going to be a classic universal integration where we will rank it on the page according to relevance and if you know that you only want tweets or only want real time updates you can open the tool belt and select those or you can click on that result. There will be traffic driven to twitter through both the user names and hastags and things like that”

How will tweets be chosen in Google?

Web 2.0 Summit 09: Marissa Mayer - showing how, Google new social search is going to work and talking about Twitter deal

To anyone like myself who is already using the Greasemonkey script to show Tweets in the SERPS it seams simple, pick the 5 latest results and display them at the top of the results, much like a News or Local Search display.

But Marissa Mayer said that Google would rank tweets on the page according to relevance, so Tweets could be appearing at the bottom of the results? Perhaps like Google new social search model. Or simply throughout the results as with any other search. Of course the whole issue of Google’s brand up-date and tweets is baffling, I mean how can a tweet have a satisfaction rate in Google’s terms? OK a Tweet can be RT’ed, the sender of the Tweet can have a huge following and can be mentioned a whole host of times, but does that really mean that a tweet is critical to that search?

OK, so how will Google decide on how to rank a Tweet, after all its 140 characters long, doesn’t have link juice flowing into it, not a lot of key terms to define its relevance, so how?

Here a question, if it is only going to be up to the minute news and gossip that is shown as tweets, then from a news angle we should be listening to tweets from the general public in the front line of uprising in Pakistan, and not a popular news editor with 14,000 followers sitting in his office in Soho reading the tweets? so how on earth is Google going to make sure that the Tweets are those that are really worth while, not just those of Demi Moore and (love him to bits) Stephen Fry?

Well they might look at Hastags as a criteria, if a tweet is posted using the hastag fashion and the search is for ‘autumn winter fashion collection’ you might be some good results, this will only happen if Twitter enforces stronger Spam filters, which to be honest at the moment SUCK!

    Keywords, if your tweet contains all of the keyterms or at least the first few keywords it might be looked on as relevant

    It could also be geo targeted, to make sure that any local information is chosen first

    Links if the link in your tweet is pointing to a page that contains relevant keywords in content, meta etc.

    Retweets, if your account receives significant retweets your tweets might be considered viable.


I was also thinking, what if Twitter had a landing page? bare with me. A landing page that could be Googled and found about your account and what it was all about, this page could then have links to all of your other social networks and these links could then be spidered to prove and accounts relevance? perhaps. It would be nice to have to contain a Quarkbase style snippets of the type of content you tweet about, photos, videos, hashtags, closest friends etc, this would be pretty useful to the Twitter users and for the reasons of optimising the content for relevance.

But then I wonder if it will then go to:

    Number of followers

    Number of mentions

    How popular your twitterers are

    Will desktop or phone apps affect the way these are seen

    Will Video and Image tweets be sent straight into image and search sections?

Our very own Tim Aldiss gave his views on what the future might hold for the search and social;

"One thing’s for sure – the shift from search as the primary navigation aid to social media is well under way. This represents the single biggest change in search engines since their introduction into the world. Forget Page Rank, or Adwords – this is the start of a very different future – a future in which word of mouth, peer reviews, and user generated content is given as much credibility as huge investment in content based authoritative organic search strategies"

Is Twitter in Google open season for Spammers?

The first thing I thought of when I heard the news was, spammers are going to have a field day, and if you think the trending topics are bad now, it’ll the teeth whitening products and laser eye treatments all the way once it moves to Google. Brand names are going to be all over the tweets, from sifty plumbers to even shifyer sales people. Every spammer on the planet is going to fighting for the right to get into those Google results, right?

The point is, we simply don’t know, in the meantime I’ll stick with my greasemonkey script, and rub my hands together in a evil genius type way .........but I can’t wait to see what happens, what do you think?

Share this post

comments powered by Disqus