Google Will Own Realtime Search by Indexing, Filtering and Ranking Tweets Better than Twitter


The conventional thinking now is that Twitter’s search will spell trouble for Google. I believe that it will be Google that will be the first to filter tweets and deliver useful, relevant results sets. This seems so obvious yet I have not seen anyone write about it yet. Maybe the Twitterati is high on their own supply.

Why is Twitter different than any other pub? Its technology is not core search but personal messaging and content. It is Google that spells trouble for Twitter as the value of the content generated via Twitter will be sucked into Google just as any other publisher. Of course, GOOG will then monetize that content in a way Twitter will not be able to do either — same as every other publisher relying on ad supported models.

This is happening already. In the past week or so Google has starting to index tweets in its natural results set. There is little doubt this will continue to gain velocity and that there is a team at Google working on tweaking algos for RTS and Twitter content. There is enough data in Twitter to do whatever Google needs to do with it to incorporate tweets as relevant search results.

Google will do a great job of filtering the noise out of Twitter, determining authority and providing useful RTS. This is their core competency! Also, let’s face it, real-time search is not really real-time. There is a latency to Twitter, a latency to Tweetdeck a latency to Google. And the ultimate value as anyone who has done a twitter search can attest is not in the recency, the value is in relevance. But make no mistake about it, Google will have no problem indexing and ranking tweets within seconds.

I also believe as soon as people see Twitter results in the Google SERP there will be little reason to go to Twitter to search. Most users are on third party interfaces anyway and Google is omnipresent in most toolbars. Don’t underestimate the Google habit for search.

I previously assessed the value of Twitter and Real-Time Search (RTS) from a user perspective. From a technical perspective as with all other search results there needs to be authority, filters and results sets. I believe Google can already do this better than Twitter. Competing with Google in search is not where Twitter should be headed unless they are prepared for the nuclear option, robots.txt Twitter.



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11 responses to “Google Will Own Realtime Search by Indexing, Filtering and Ranking Tweets Better than Twitter”

  1. Jeremy Rivera Avatar

    What about the Greasemonkey script to add twitter to Google? I’ve been using it for several weeks now, and I think it really has proved extremely useful for some queries (worse than useless for others though).
    Naturally, Google is going to latch on in a quasi parasitic method like it did/does with all online sites/content.


  2. Davemon Avatar

    makes sense. twitter is blocking google from spidering in robots.txt…and google don’t care.


  3. AJ Kohn Avatar

    I agree that Google will own real-time search whether they’re indexing Tweets or other real-time services.
    Yet, the main problem that exists is that most Tweets have little relevance to queries. There’s not a lot of there … there.
    Breaking news and local might be interesting areas but that’s not exactly a lion’s share of search and the former is so ephemeral as to be noise in long-term search.
    I can see a onebox type of presentation of real-time search as an additional result on some SERPs. I’ve maintained that Tweets are like the crawl on a news network.


  4. Joanna Avatar

    I think that Battelle has already mentioned that Google should use Twitter for its purposes.. More – I think he said that Google can’t afford not to own Twitter due to its search capacity.


  5. audrey Avatar

    If Google is also going to display tweets. Their search engine wouldn’t be as reliable anymore. I think Google should stick to being just a search engine for reliable information.


  6. theCrandallSter Avatar

    Not sure why no one has noticed this yet I have been breaking my ass to get the word out. I find everyone else’s stuff. So whats up?
    Please, Help us. We can all do our part, regardless of Google.


  7. Andrew Hedges Avatar

    Here’s the reason Google will not own Twitter search:
    Unless Google decide to “do evil” and go against the rules in that file, they can’t index Twitter’s real-time search. They are in the same position as everyone else of having to use the Twitter API to fetch tweets.
    There are limits to API usage that far millions of requests below what Google would need in order to do real-time search results. That’s likely why we haven’t seen it already.


  8. Steven Mandzik Avatar

    2 points:
    Twitter will almost certainly have to partner with google to get ads and revenue coming in (are they are already doing so?). If so that makes for an interesting relationship or maybe a conflict of interest.
    Second, point, in response to this statements:
    “I also believe as soon as people see Twitter results in the Google SERP there will be little reason to go to Twitter to search.”
    This depends on what you are looking for. If I want to see what folks are saying about the super bowl then twitter search is a real time stream, or as close as can be. If i want to know a definition or research a topic, then google.
    But its not hard for me to imagine google going to real time streaming (i.e. 3 more results since you last searched). I think they will need to…


  9. theCrandallSter Avatar

    I think it is in their best interests to stay separate. Google is doing fine on its own, and when the time comes a suitable solution will be available to them where they can get the info fast enough.
    The case against everything buckets states that an application that is designed to do everything is a piece of shit. Remember that. To do something well things should stay separate.
    Also, being that twitter is one of the few places on the internet people can actually (for the most part) be free from seeing ads snuck into every fucking part of the webpage for shitty profit:
    or as collegehumor states:
    “When god gives you lemons you find a new god.”
    At least thats what I would do. People use twitter in far too many useless ways as it is. Adding to that stupidity would be enough to make me desert it.


  10. Josh Stodola Avatar

    I can’t believe you are defending the robots.txt file. As if that has any legal precedent. Google CAN and certainly WILL ignore this file for the domain. Anybody can index Twitter — they have an API for God’s sake! They don’t stand a chance against Google…


  11. Raymond Crandall Avatar

    When I wrote the previous comments I was not in a state where I should have been trying to publish anything online. I was very crude and negative, and I want to apologize for my behavior. I was going through a very rough time in my life.
    If you would be so kind, I would appreciate it if you deleted this and all previous comments of mine in this article.


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