It appears that real-time search could finally become a reality. Following our post earlier in the month, Twitter negotiating real-time search deal with Microsoft and Google, it looks like the ink is now drying on an agreement that will see the aforementioned search engines gain complete access to the social media site’s network.
This is a brave new world for search engines and could well change the way we view and use SERPs in the future. Bing and Google are now free to start developing ways to incorporate Twitter feeds into their searches, opening up unique opportunities for the respective engines and their users.
The news today had a slightly unexpected twist, when Microsoft also announced that it would be adding Facebook updates into the mix (not something that was originally mooted). Whilst Twitter will be first on the agenda, despite its non-exclusivity, the Facebook integration could certainly add a new dynamic to Bing, particularly if the earlier real-time assimilation proves a success.
Without going too far into the realms of tabloid speculation, Microsoft may well have been aided in the procuring of Facebook rights due to their earlier investment and continued advertising support. With dual streams of content, Bing could very well be on the cusp of getting one over on its far more illustrious counterpart. As Facebook remains the dominant force in social media it will be interesting to see how Microsoft is able to siphon information in a way that adds value to their developing real-time services.
The new deal means that both Google and Microsoft have full access to Twitter’s online content. Every tweet can effectively be mined and shown within the search engine results, adding far more visibility and integration across the different media platforms.
Bing of course was a pioneer of real-time search, being one of the first to include a Twitter feed, as limited as that was at the time. Google though have the knowledge and the online prowess to optimise their Twitter compatibility and create something that Internet users will flock to. So how they choose to start including tweets will be down to their own individual standpoint, creating a potential polarity between the two.
This of course is only the first step in what is likely to be a prolonged developmental pathway. But with Google and Microsoft announcing the news on the same date, October 22nd 2009 could well prove to be a pivotal moment in the history of search engine development. It will certainly be interesting to see how it affects SERPs and the culture surrounding search, which of course includes SEO, in the coming months.
Currently Google are still developing their concept, whilst Microsoft have realeased a very tentative Beta site; although when recently tested this wasn’t actually operational. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this developing story and will report upon any further developments from either party. All we do know is that real-time search engines have finally reached their sink or swim moment, can full social media integration ever work? Well, we’ll soon find out.