Bing and Google have both announced that they will incorporate tweets into their search results. Bing made the announcement yesterday, and Google today. The purpose of these deals is to bring real time search capabilities to the two search engines. This will benefit people looking for updates on breaking news, reviews on just-released products, and any other situation in which information quickly grows stale.
Neither engine has fully integrated tweets yet, but Bing has a beta version – Bing.com/twitter – that is open to the public. Upon arrival, a user is greeted by a tag cloud of the hottest twitter topics as well as the top few tweets on those topics. As Bing’s blogpost explains:
If you want to keep an eye on this topic, you can just watch the Tweets roll in. Or, click on “See more Tweets about…” to go to a page full of Tweets. On that page, you can change the ordering to “Best Match.” Here we arrange Tweets differently. If someone has a lot of followers, his/her Tweet may get ranked higher. If a tweet is exactly the same as other Tweets, it will get ranked lower. For example, I saw a Tweet from ABC News ranked pretty high in the Best Match mode during the “boy in the balloon” fiasco. By the way, you won’t see any of your tweets if you protected or deleted them, and tweets don’t last more than 7 days in our index.
Google does not yet have a product for the public to play with, but it promises to have “a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months.”
Bing Is Ahead
For now, Bing seems to have the advantage over Google. If it can quickly move out of beta, it has the chance to pick up some share from Google, especially if Google is slow to integrate tweets. In the meantime, I can’t wait for the next balloon boy so I can test Bing in a real-time scenario.