The Google and Bing search engines are set to feature results pooled from Twitter. The landmark licensing deals will represent the first major revenue stream for Twitter, a company notoriously tight-lipped about their business plans.
Bing and Google will now have access to the real-time “fire-hose” stream of micro-messages created by Twitter users around the globe. The real-time information will be invaluable to those looking for up-to-the-minute news, with Twitter now allowing the search robots full access to index its feed.
Links that are being re-tweeted often will likely move up the page rankings lists, and spikes in keywords too will affect results.
But will the search engines be able to ensure results are relevant, with so many thousands of messages being published every minute? Will the Twitter results be organised by publication time or the notoriety of the Twitter user?
While the answers to these questions pose the biggest problems for real-time search, a Beta version of Bing’s integration of Twitter has already gone live. Test it for yourself (if you are in the US, the service isn’t live in the UK at the moment) at www.bing.com/twitter .