A couple of months ago we talked about the ‘Real time’ battle being played out by Google and Microsoft. The emergence of Twitter has a search engine that can tell you what people are discussing right now, made both Google and Microsoft to develop their own angle on ‘real time’
Whilst Microsoft’s Bing opted to include Tweets from prominent Twitters within their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), Google decided to rapidly index and promote blog posts and other recently added online content.
Both major players have now elected to try and beat each other at the Real Time game by… doing exactly the same thing. A couple of week’s ago they announced that they would feature live Tweets from the full Twitter index.
This is how Paul Yiu from Bing put it: “Twitter is producing millions of tweets every minute on every subject you can imagine. The power of those tweets as a form of data that can be surfaced in search is enormous… Working with those clever birds over at Twitter, we now have access to the entire public Twitter feed and have a beta of Bing Twitter search for you to play with.” The service is currently only available in the US.
And on the same day, this is what Marissa Mayer from Google had to say “We have reached an agreement with Twitter to include its updates in our search results. We believe our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months.”
Bing is already starting to include Twitter results in the US. In the UK we have to wait; and everyone has got to wait a while for Google,
Seeing as they have decided to do exactly the same thing, the winner will probably the search engine that chooses the most effective integration. Twitter produces a lot of ‘noise’ – irrelevant or irreverent Tweets that people may well not find useful to see in the SERPs.
As for what it means to website builders and your social media strategy, this means that is going to be more important than ever to make sure you are effectively using Twitter to communicate with your website visitors about your website. If you use Twitter as a customer service and communication tool, more people than ever will witness your customer care. As we discussed previously, the SERPs for your brand searches influence a lot of potential visitors to your website. More than ever they need to see that yours is a website that they want to interact with.