Ah search engine wars–always good to keep the tech savvy amused, and today’s fight is really spiky: Google and Yahoo are competing over how to include Tweets in their results. They’ve got two approaches. But Google’s is better.
Google’s big news this week was its embracing real-time search data–a long sought-for goal for the company. As part of that announcement, Twitter was given a big role in the spotlight, with Tweets popping up in the real time updating search results. It seems, though, that Google isn’t done with tapping Twitter as being the gateway to real-time news around the globe, and yesterday Google announced that Twitter’s real time stream is also going into the Google Search Alliance.
That means that companies that leverage Google’s search engine powers inside their intranet or on their Web site could potentially include matches from the real time Tweet feed in their search results lists. Google’s spinning this as being beneficial to business since “employees searching for information needed to do their jobs benefit from real-time news too. They might be developing a new breakfast cereal, or designing a marketing plan” and the real time data would definitely play into their market analysis. And that’s likely to be very true, given recent data that reveals just how effective a marketing tool Twitter can be.
Because it’s inside the GSA, Google’s even got an option to display the Twitter stream in parallel to search matches from inside a company’s intranet. And that quite definitely highlights just how important Google views Twitter’s feeds.
Yahoo, of course, also wants in on that real time action. And (with totally non-coincidental timing) it’s just announced it’ll be including Tweets in the body of its search results too. Only, um…not in real time.
Tweets have been searchable via Yahoo for a while, via a separate tab, but now’s the first time they’ll be appearing in the search match list somewhat similar to Google’s move. The company’s Ivan Davtchev and Shiv Ramamurthi noted in a blog post that “recent Tweets” will be included where the search phrase, and matching Tweets, are on “buzzy topics.” It’s all algorithmic–some programmer’s math basically decides what phrases are buzzing and appends the Tweets to the results. But the newest they’ll be is a few minutes–far from Google’s per-second feed. And in certain situations like for breaking news, those minutes really will count.
Looks like this round of the search engine wars goes most definitely to Google.