According to CNET and Twitter’s new VP Operations, Twitter search is about to move beyond simple indexing of Tweets to include information from the pages people link to and build reputation into their algorithm. The details are unclear, but these moves can only enhance the relevancy and usefulness of Twitter search results. It also puts them more directly in competition with Google.
Let the battle begin…
URL shortening service bit.ly has a similar plan. According to ReadWriteWeb they plan to analyse the URLs that people shorten to build a realtime search and analytics product. The company is posting exceptional growth already (50m links last week, up from 15m five weeks ago) and they have just replaced TinyURL as the default on Twitter so things will likely get even crazier in the next little while – but unless I am missing something technically Twitter or anyone else mining the Twitter stream can generate the same search results as a URL shortening service, so I’m not sure how defensible their position is.
Finally for a bit of fun read this realtime search example from Twiter’s VP Ops:
Finally, a real-time search story from Jayaram, which he used to illustrate the immediacy of Twitter Search during the panel discussion: he told of being in the Twitter offices in San Francisco on March 30, when the Twitter engineers noticed that the word “earthquake” had suddenly started trending up. They didn’t know where the earthquake was. Several seconds later, their building started to shake. The earthquake had been in Morgan Hill, 60 miles south of San Francisco, and the tweets about the shaker reached the office faster than the seismic waves themselves.