Twitter Homepage Search Could Test Google

Update: Script Puts Real-Time Twitter Search Results in Google

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Update: Mark Carey has created a script using Greasemonkey that allows users to put Twitter Search Results directly in Google Results. He shares the following screenshot:

Twitter in Google Results

Original Article: 

Twitter is finally integrating search into its homepage. Search and Trends have been placed into the signed-in homepages of a limited set of accounts for beta testing.

Perhaps the point that we should be focusing on is how important searching Twitter and conversations in general are going to become. There is no question that conversations are gaining a lot of importance on the web, whether that be through Twitter, Facebook, blogs or anything else. People want to know what is going on in the real-time part of the web.


I Want Real-Time Search

Naturally that leads to questions about Google. With said importance of the real-time web, the search engine leader is likely going to want to get on board this train in one way or another. This is a topic that  has been brought up a lot recently by a number of bloggers. Robert Scoble suggested that this kind of real-time search could even be a threat to Google search, particularly if Facebook got into the mix with its huge number of users.

Danny Sullivan touched on the real-time search subject in an interview with our own Abby Johnson at the recent SMX West Show. He says this is an opportunity search engines could take advantage of (when speaking about ways that search engines could improve in general). WhosTalkin.com is already doing some interesting things in this space.

Searching Twitter for WebProNews on Whostalkin.com

I’m not sure if Google’s feeling threatened by the concept, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Google eventually offer a conversational-search feature of its own. How Google would do this is another question all together, because Twitter may have already reached critical mass with real-time communication. One thing is certain, real-time discussion search is going to continue to grow in importance.

Real-time discussion search has a lot of potential for monetization as well. You know full well how Google would do it (AdWords if I have to say it). You also know that Facebook has been a lot more interested in monetization strategies lately, and Twitter has even promised that its latest round of funding will bring about revenue models. Very interesting.

As for Twitter’s Search itself, only accounts that choose to be publicly accessible are included in Twitter search results. That is apparently over 90% of Twitter users anyway though. No word yet on when the feature will become available to everyone.

Twitter Homepage Search Could Test Google
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  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    It’s not unique enough for Twitter to use “Search Now” maybe something like “Find Twits” … LOL

    I just love all the nicknames surrounding Twitter!

    Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/snerdey

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com/stunguns Debbie Morgan

    I’m typically on Twitter to socially market may safety and security web site as well as raise awareness for it’s products through interaction with my followers, so this is great news. I like finding people who feel vulnerable or threatened in some way or simply those who want to increase their safety and security level. Thanks, Chris, for this information.

  • http://www.meanseo.com Chris Hibbard

    I want to be in the beta program! even though I am the closest thing to an 800 lb gorilla in my small niche, I guess twitter doesn’t link my “Smokieshiker” account enough to grant me betaship.

    I do use Twellow and recommend it, but I don’t use it often enough.

    Wish they can build that search into Twitter Fox too.

  • http://randomplaza.com/help.anonymous.php Anonymous

    How does this challenge google? It is only searching some of Twitter’s site.

    If they wanted to challenge google, pick some lesser known search engine like cull and put that on its front page for searching the web.

  • http://www.pioutsource.com PI OutsourceP

    If we could only search people’s thoughts before they commit them to 140 chars!

  • http://poseidonprofit.blogspot.com Poseidon SEO, SEM, SMO

    Another excellent idea to improve Twitter’s quality.

  • http://www.auto-ak-seeds.com ji

    i dont think they will be a threat to google

  • http://marketamerica.com/earthboundelements Lisa M.

    Someday they have to tie in their search features or partner up.
    I think it’s great that Twitter is finally working on that homepage. I find them invaluable & have changed the way I watch events on tv like SuperBowl, Daytona & award shows because I pull up tweet streams to view all the comments from my contacts.
    Twitter created a new way to be in touch with 1,000’s simultaneously with common interests. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

  • http://www.logodesignnext.com/blog logo design blog

    Maybe i am thick but I still don’t get how a site’s internal search could affect big G’s plans to index the whole universe?

    • Rich Ord

      It is not internal search that would impact Google, but the possibility that real-time communication search could become an important part of search. What people are talking about now versus what what text was on websites 30 days or more ago.

  • http://www.ApostaMilionaria.com OneBetOneWin

    I wonder why so late Twitter is developing this new feature of search.

    Couldn’t they have been more fast?

  • http://www.casinotrips.org casinotrips

    very good, lets try it

  • http://www.virtualjewelries.com Tony Lee

    I’m sure Google has some interest in this concept, but we all must be reminded that although “G” is a search engine, its main goal is to make money from advertising. With this in mind, “G” may not consider this a
    worthwhile venture. But if there is money in it for them, them be jumping in on it.

    • Chris Crum

      I think there is plenty of ad opportunity there.

  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    “Recent funding … revenue models”

    Everything free will always be paid for one way or another and that’s fine with me but hope it does not become over come with ad’s.

    I don’t think Google is threatened at all as they’re about to get a whole new niche to target AdWords. I’m sure they’ve been preparing for many like this and others as they are rather focused on the future of the web.

    Which came 1st .. Google or The Web?

    Some really do not know the answer to this! Just ask sometimes at your favorite pub or in conversation. Answers are across the board.

  • http://www.seoatoz.com SEO

    Did we all blow a gasket and forget what search is used for? It is to find information and 140 characters about how I woke up today and thought I would invent nuclear fuzees, is not what one would call “information”

    Googles’ Mission Statement is not likely to be altered to fit some pundits ideas of what Twitter search might do…..

  • http://www.brandingyp.com CPB

    Isn’t the Google Blog Search Feature an example of real-time search? There shouldn’t be any problem with it. Real-Time search is already part of google.. which is the blog search.

  • http://petitpub.com Petit

    Maybe I just don’t get it.
    Searching Twitter or any other social site in real time may be interesting of course.

    That’s a whole other boll game than searching the web, for stored information. It requires spidering the web for said information, sorting, storing and tagging it in big databases, to make any sense.

    At this point in time it isn’t possible to search the whole web in real time, and I doubt that will be the case for a very long time :)

    As I understand it, the web is growing faster than it may be seached.

    My conclusion would be, that two good things, like real time search of a limited number of social discussion sites, and the search for spidered, evaluated and stored information, don’t compete.


  • Adam

    Google is certainly moving in this direction. They already acquired Jaiku (http://jaiku.com/help/google) back in late 2007. Since then they’ve been migrating it to Google Apps. And they just announced last month that they’re open sourcing the code for other to roll-their-own microblogging services (http://www.jaiku.com/blog/2009/01/15/were-going-open-source/). I bet we’ll see them roll out a beta version on Google Apps pretty soon.

    I smell fried Twitter. ;)

  • http://www.31best-riad-marrakesh.com/ Joao Leitao


    i’m actually anxious to see how it works. for my personal experience, i often don’t find what i’m looking for in several social websites, either searching for people or music for instense.

    cheers from Sahara Desert!

  • http://marketsecrets.biz/supertips-for-2008-and-2009/ Caleb the Market Secrets Blogger

    Perhaps a type of meta search engine just for real time conversations can be developed interwoven with an advertising platform…original concept, huh?!

    Seriously, I do believe this could be an extremely good source of targeted traffic…just look at how some marketers are coming up using Twitter alone.

  • http://easyadshowplace.com Glenn Witmer

    Weather google likes or wants to do it they will have to keep up to the growing demand

  • http://www.milestinsley.com Miles Tinsley

    This is very cool. The more ways to see a real time snapshot of the social media graph the better!

  • http://www.onebidd.com Rob

    Great concept, Tweeting has come along way.

  • sonic

    some (well, a few) might recall something dubbed “community search” on aol – yes, aol. this little search would query across all aol message boards, blogs, home pages and live chat rooms and return results from the past 60 seconds to 5 minutes. wanna know where people are mentioning obama RIGHT NOW? it was there. pretty neat. it was several years ago when i and a few others built it – not sure it’s still live.

    • http://inchoo.net Toni Anicic

      Pretty neat! :)

  • Guest

    Err isn’t this pretty old news?
    www.monitter.com have been feeding into this for awhile now.

    • http://www.pr-interactive.com florida web design

      yes it is.

    • Chris Crum

      It’s not that it’s a brand new concept, but there is a difference between a few sites that only a select few have heard of and the mainstream.

  • http://www.StoreMinator.com markowe

    I appreciate that Twitter is a sort of cross-section of “what people are talking about”, which would to an extent be a good indicator of up-to-the-minute trends (“1000s of people are talking about it – quick, sell it!”), but Google already publishes Trends, which amounts to a similar thing (if they’re searching for it then they’re probably talking about it too) so I guess we will see Google adapting fairly easily. As a marketer though, I want to SEE what people are searching for/talking about, not search for what I think people might be talking about! If you see what I mean.

    • http://www.askpreeti.com Preeti

      I agree with you, but what I found is that people are there on Twitter to promote their products rather than discussing about other things in general.

  • http://www.eyeonspain.com/tv Siesta Show

    rubbish that people talk about on Twitter. I have stopped following so many people as they just tweet a load of drivel. I don’t think live search is going to worry google at all. And also, my website is targetted towards people in the 40+ age group of the majority of them have never even heard of Twitter.

    • Chris Crum

      Wouldn’t you say there is also plenty of rubbish on the web in general? This only makes search all the more useful.

    • http://www.shelko.com/ Priyanka

      I agree with you, Siesta. People have no clue what they are talking sometimes.

    • http://www.earringsforever.com EarRings

      That is one of the functions of search, if filters a lot of rubbish from the good ones. Unfortunately, this needs more improvement.

    • http://WebSavvyPR.com CathyLarkin (CathyWebSavvyPR)

      Since twitter has been getting written up in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal & Washington Post – the demographics have been shifting and beginning to trend older. In my little slice of Twitter, there are plenty of folks over 45 and over 55; and there a lots of travel-savvy folks as well. So being able to search for people wanting to travel to Spain would not be helpful to you?

  • http://www.april-fools-day.info April Fools Day

    Anytime companies start to compete with each other, the customer benefits.

  • http://www.site-o-rific.com Site O Rific

    I agree with the comment above that most people are looking for high quality relevant information that is sourced, not some random persons off the cuff ideas about a topic. Most of what is found on Twitter is trivial in nature so I doubt it is a threat to Google. If any thing it helps to get the real time trivial exchanges out of the way.

    Both the static and real time content can coexist nicely online.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/JoshRimer Josh

    This is something I was wanting right from the moment I joined Twitter. Nice to see they’re finally implementing it.

  • http://www.beliefnetworks.net Guest

    There is a company who offers semantic search over twitter in additions to flickr and any other website. It’s really cool.

  • http://www.moneyonlineinfo.com Guest

    I don’t think it’s really a threat, relevant results are what matter the most. I would rather have good results that Google indexed two weeks ago then some useless gibberish from Twitter two minutes ago.

  • http://www.sportinggoodslive.com Tony Lee

    Of course google wants to reign the internet, so I guess they will have to step up to the plate.

    I’ve used one aspect of twitters search: search.twitter.com and it does what it’s supposed to I guess.

    It’s too bad we can’t say the same for google’s (lack of) real time

  • http://www.wolf21.com Kimberley Le S

    It can be a great thing for marketers and business people to see what people are talking about. Real Time search can really open new doors if Google participated in it, however, would it have much relevance to a Google search user? If I am searching for something I want it to have relevance, not a bunch of tweets or facebook messages that might clutter my search and frustrate me. People will always want different things, so maybe different options could be provided on whether you would want to filter your search or not.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/make-money_using-paypal Guest

    How and what exactly will make searching within Twitter better? Will they try to make the conversation better? I cannot see why someone would go out of his way to see what a total “other” stranger have been up to lately. I am seeing it in a way that Twitter and Facebook is becoming dumb.

    • http://WebSavvyPR.com CathyLarkin (CathyWebSavvyPR)

      Searching Twitter directly would be useful for people using the service for personal, small business and big business purposes. Right now – you have to go outside the program to access such tools.

      Many people on twitter are no longer answering the somewhat silly question at top of the screen – “What are you doing,” but they are instead engaging in sharing information about things they are interested in, working on, and sharing something of who they are as well.

      How could someone accessing Twitter for personal use be helped by integrated search?

      For example If they are using it to connect to friends, and for fun/interests/needs: integrated search of twitter feeds (messages and bios) can help him/her find people interested in the same hobbies, health issues, social issues, or to connect with people online locally.

      Twitter is also a great way to “crowd source” or ask a question about a product, program or service – to essentially get reviews from people you’ve gotten to know on Twitter. Integrated search would make that easier.

      It would be great for those who are job searching – I see jobs posted on twitter everyday – integrated search would help connect job seekers with jobs.

      How could someone accessing Twitter for small business be helped by integrated search?

      It would make it easier for customers to find small businesses and consultants that fit their needs, and easier for small businesses to find customers and client prospects using keyword searches. The down side, is that it may make it easier for spammers to target people, although twitter has ways of finding spammers and shutting them down.

      Also for those who work out of a home office, integrated search would make it easy to connect with others in the same field – kind on like a virtual office water cooler, or coffee break.

      Big business can do the same by searching for their brand/company name and being able to rectify problems as they happen (when and where people a complaining about it), or to connect with their product users where they are, rather than waiting for them to go to a faceless company website.

  • http://www.5xmom.com Guest

    It’s another very interesting outlay for Twitter. I can just imagine the power of this new search concept. There is only one thing obviously that will give return to these people having huge profiles on twitter: Traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic!

  • http://www.seosean.com SEO Service

    I doubt that Google is really concerned with it. I’m sure they have already begun work on a similar project prior to this and it’s only a matter of time before they release it.

  • http://www.searchenginepeople.com Jeff Quipp – SEO People

    Google will retain a certain role, and Twitter will evolve its own. Twitter will be better for getting referrals. Google for deeper research. Ultimately though … if Twitter really becomes a threat, Google will merely buy it!

  • http://softouchseo.com Search Engine Optimization Springfield Missouri

    Just wait till google caffeine is officially launched…its going to be a game changer

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