A business deal announced via a Twitter “tweet” outlined a continued partnership between Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Twitter, giving Bing direct access to all of Twitter’s tweets.
The importance of this is measured by search engine bigwigs in terms of the possibility of real-time search results and what role Twitter’s tweets will play in being able to influence those results through integration in search algorithms or as part of a separate feed. The idea is that peoples’ tweet information can help to inform searches regarding what’s going on in the very moment of the search.
Google, who also had a deal with Twitter that they let expire in July, has apparently decided that its growing Google+ social networking platform and system of +1 votes, along with many other information sources, will provide a similar data stream that it can then use to generate real-time search results. The only noticeable change resulting from Google’s decision, however, is that it dropped its Realtime Search feature, which suggests tweets were an important factor in its real-time search data.
It seems apparent that Microsoft sees more potential in tweets than does Google to run its Bing Social Search, and some sources report that it is willing to pay an additional $30 million in fees for access to the data stream that the search engine giant has decided it can do without. Observers may wonder if it was the alleged price hike that forced Google to reconsider, or whether it is a sign of hubris from a techno-behemoth unwilling to rely on competitors to provide superior service.
Whatever the reason, Microsoft is in and Google is out, sent on its way by a light dig from Twitter found within the Bing-Twitter deal announcement: “@Bing … Search w/o Twitter = old news. You & @MSN are amazing at using Tweets to make search better & help people stay in the know”.
Of course, Google is far from out of the running, even though a recent poll found that users had more search success on Bing than Google as measured by click-through rates. Google still commands the lion’s share of search users around the globe and Bing will have to find value-added ways to use the Twitter stream if the deal is going to help close the gap.