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Will Twitter Search Change The Search Engine Landscape?

At the sidelines of an entrepreneur conference, TiEcon, yesterday, CNet Webware editor Rafe Needleman reported on Twitter’s ambition to power up its usefulness as a search engine contender. But will this be enough to give Google or one of its competitors a run for it’s money.

On the looks of things, Twitter is doing the right thing like bringing Google’s former manager of search quality operations Santosh Jayaram over to Twitter as its new vice president of operations.

In the works:

  • Introducing indexing and crawling capabilities to spider links contained within users tweets
  • A reputation ranking system to give weightage/priority according to a Twitter users authority

As an example, Santosh cited examples of the Twitter.com sidebar would containing “trending” hot topics, which already appear in Twitter users web profile pages now.

To be viable as a search engine alternative, not just against the big 3, but also sites like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace which feature their own search engines, Twitter will need to leverage on its immediate nature and use this advantage to provide real-time updates like Twitter API-powered site TwitterFall.

As hot upstart Twitter continues to introduce unique and creative values for its users, we might see the internet users expectations to demand real time updates from search results, with a corresponding change in user behavior.

5 comments on Will Twitter Search Change The Search Engine Landscape?

  1. Sam Harrelson
    May 8, 2009 at 2:57 am (4194 days ago)

    “Hot upstart”?

    Some of us have been on Twitter since the good ole days of ’06. That’s middle-aged for web startups!

    I still think they are going to buy bit.ly and run all links through that service (which does allow for API integration, stats, etc… so you could build a search engine on top of that) but not go the direct “indexing of all links” route.

    No reason to re-invent the Google Pagerank wheel with authority, etc (and the subsequent headaches and industries it has created).


  2. Andrew Wee
    May 8, 2009 at 3:36 am (4194 days ago)

    Internet years is subjective i guess.

    By that measure, Hotmail and Yahoo! mail might be decrepit.

    If they buy bit.ly, i expect some type of fallout among the other URL shortening services.

    Will be interesting how they construct storehouses of relevant data in real time. Like I said, if they manage to conquer this mountainous challenge, they’d be standing on top of the heap.

    Goodness knows we’ve seen enough fail whales to last us for a while.

  3. Sam Harrelson
    May 8, 2009 at 3:39 am (4194 days ago)

    They need to bring back Track before they work on data storehouses :)

  4. Andrew Wee
    May 8, 2009 at 3:52 am (4194 days ago)

    Google News Alerts for Twitter?

    I see Twitter is very much a platform that’s open to more collaborative apps + add-ons, much like WordPress.

    What will be interesting is if Twitter can engage and incorporate third party apps like TweetDeck, analytics/stats providers as partners, vs merely buying them out. It’ll move them up the development curve faster, give users a better quality experience with a shorter development lifecycle, etc, etc.

    There’s only 1,000 things they could bring back.

    Oh, and I don’t know how well their mindshare will translate into long term commercial sustainability.

    Aside from that, it’s perfect.

  5. Sam Harrelson
    May 8, 2009 at 4:24 am (4194 days ago)

    If they brought back Track, Twitter would be a multi-billion dollar company overnight. If they don’t do it, someone will and that’s when we’ll see the commercial side of micro-blogging make sense (cents).

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