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Google Partners With Twitter For Search 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the tracking-your-tweet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Google blog, it has partnered up with Twitter to bring tweets into its search results in the next few months. While this is exciting news, how the feature is going to present itself is a huge question. Indiblogger presents a comprehensive list of how it should be. From the article, the points discussed are: relevance of tweets with the search term, twitter and Google advertising, even a Google-Twitter API."
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Google Partners With Twitter For Search

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  • Bing Too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:57AM (#29833695) Homepage Journal

    Twitter cut deals with Bing and Google. [techcrunch.com]

  • WTF! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:03AM (#29833729)

    Why the f**k would I want to have mindless twits mixed in with my search results?

    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      This is the Internet, your search results are probably already getting a mix of useful stuff and mindless twits ;) This probably will worsen the "twit-to-usefulness" ratio, though.

      On the plus side, if people abbreviate things a lot to fit in the 140 character limit then maybe Google search won't accidentally pick them up!

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you've been on the internet for a long while (read: > 5 minutes), you're already accustomed to mindless twits.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Daengbo (523424)

      Exactly. I was upset enough when spammy blogs with duplicate content filled my search results, but now I wave to deal with one-line tweets, too? Ugh.

    • if they filter out tweets that don't have retweets, it might be not that bad. Twitter addresses another aspect of the internet: Viral marketing, and near-realtime content

      • by ajs (35943)

        You're starting to see the value, but remember that the value of PageRank isn't that it's got one useful metric, but dozens. Re-tweets are akin to links. PageRank considers links to a page, but it also considers who is linking. Get re-tweeted by someone who frequently gets re-tweeted, and there's going to be more juice in that. By the same token, if you use more than two hash-tags or currently trending terms, and there should probably be a reduction in your rank, since that's likely just automated. A few ot

      • by Jurily (900488)

        Twitter addresses another aspect of the internet: Viral marketing, and near-realtime content

        You forgot "mindless drones yapping on about irrelevant bullshit". My search results are bad enough as it is, thank you very much.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      I really hope it's turned off by default. It's bad enough getting a hundred blog posts parroting the same press release or news article when you search for something, never mind having a few (hundred)thousand tweets mixed in there too.

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      I'm hoping they'll turn up in a sidebar along with "sponsored" links.

      But hopefully Google will only crawl twitter and use it to improve rankings, since twitter users seem to like to tweet links to URLs they like.

      So this will probably just enhance google search results the same way they did when they brought in StumbleUpon. A lot of google results show StumbleUpon rankings and listings to comments, maybe now they'll also have a "X,XXX tweets" metric as well.

      But far be it from me to speculate.

    • by KDEWolf (972921)
      EVEN WORSE: How many Twitts are EXACTLY links to another (real) webpage? It'll be like shortening ow.ly urls with bit.ly... Endless chain of links.
    • by Greenisus (262784)

      Twitter's pretty handy if you want to search about something that's happening *right now* and hasn't had time to be blogged about and then indexed by the search engines. For instance, there were several helicopters flying overhead and none of us knew what was going on, so we searched Twitter and discovered that someone was filming a scene for a movie.

  • by Remloc (1165839) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:04AM (#29833737)
    As long as I can turn it off. Permanently in my login profile.

    I do not want the inane ramblings of some twittering teen-ager littering my Google results.
    • by Aladrin (926209)

      Get off my ... Google search!

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:26AM (#29833905)
      If in doubt, GiveMeBackMyGoogle.com [gmbmg.com] has succeeded in stripping out results from many "sponsored" domains and aggregating sites for a good long time. I expect they'll list twitter as one of the blocks before long.
      • by Archfeld (6757) *

        Awesome link...TYVM

        The added trash and duplication in my google search results for the last year or so has been an increasingly annoying issue.

      • I'd hope most Slashdot users would know this, but it seems it's not the case. You can perform Google searches without visiting the google.com webpage, just as you can perform eBay, imdb, flickr, wiki, etc. searches without first visting those webpages.

        With respect to filtering Google searches (along the lines of what's provided by givemebackmygoogle website), just create a bookmark with an appropriate Keyword (a simple "g" would suffice) with the Properties of:

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%s -i

      • ... I expect they'll list twitter as one of the blocks before long.

        From the FAQ [gmbmg.com]:

        Thanks to everyone for your input, ideas, toolbars, support, etc, etc. This site will stay up (hundreds of you use it every day - yay!), but I probably won't put any more sites in, or respond to much email.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If google is as good at figuring out the relevance of tweets as they are at figuring out the relevance of everything else, you won't mind.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Daengbo (523424)

        If Google does that, there'll be nothing left. Why have the deal at all?

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I'd rather have an answer under 160 bytes than no answer at all. I haven't had 1 or 2 results in ages, but I often have no results. I wouldn't mind some inadequate results that pointed me in the right direction... at least it's better than nothing.

        • I'm quite certain you'll find that like the web, there are nuggets of good stuff on twitter -- they're just hard to find.

          Most of us using Google may forget the days when crawling through dozens of pages of irrelevant search results was necessary to find the data we were looking for.

          Google does an excellent job of maintaining a high signal to noise ratio with websites, I don't doubt they'll do the same for tweets.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      I do not want the inane ramblings of some twittering teen-ager littering my Google results.

      Twitter doesn't seem to be popular with teenagers. The inane ramblings are from the 25-40 crowd who've just discovered this "social networking" thing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by snspdaarf (1314399)

        Twitter doesn't seem to be popular with teenagers.

        Probably because it is filled with "the inane ramblings are from the 25-40 crowd." I never thought I would say this, but, man, am I happy to be over 40!

    • by Dersaidin (954402)
      Hopefully it'll be similar to site: or url:

      So you only get results on twitter if you search using:
      tweet:query here

      And normal searches don't include twitter results at all.

    • by sootman (158191)

      Better still, it should be off by default, and be off for non-logged-in users. If I want tweets in my search results I should have to log in and go to preferences.

      Or else make it one more link at the top: Web Images Videos Maps News Shopping Gmail Twitter more

      But if tweets start showing up in my search results all the time with no action on my part I swear to God I'll switch to Yahoo.

  • Response to Bing? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TwistedGreen (80055) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [neergdetsiwt]> on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:05AM (#29833751)
    That was fast. Yesterday Bing announced they were going to integrate realtime Twitter and Facebook status updates into search. Competition is good, but Bing will have to find a better strategy.
    • by miffo.swe (547642)

      At first i thought that Microsoft had beaten Google to the punch and gotten an exclusive deal with Twitter. That would have been a raw deal for Twitter but not much of an issue for Google.

      Bing will have to deliver something more useful than copying Google. Google needs a blowtorch up their behinds but i dont think Microsoft is capable of holding it the right way. The last thing Google needs is to sink all the way down to Microsofts level.

  • This will be good in getting tweet-sized breaking news from Google.

  • by RMH101 (636144) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:13AM (#29833795)
    Leo Laporte and This Week In Google covered this with an interview with Google.
    Basically it boils down to: Twitter results can be valuable for real-time, breaking news. Less so after the fact. If you googled for "Trafigura" a week or so ago, you wouldn't have seen much of interest. If you searched Twitter whilst it was breaking news of the injunction, it was full of info. Google are savvy with search and I'm sure they've got this all factored into PageRank already.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stoolpigeon (454276) *

      I think it twitter search would also be useful to anyone managing a product or project being used publicly. Being able to find mentions on twitter would allow one to be more proactive in dealing with issues and also help find happy customers/users more quickly.

      I had a gripe about adobe air on linux a while back and posted about it on twitter. Within minutes I was contacted by two Adobe developers and they helped me file a bug report. That was the first time I saw a real opportunity for twitter to be some

      • by kjart (941720)

        I think it twitter search would also be useful to anyone managing a product or project being used publicly. Being able to find mentions on twitter would allow one to be more proactive in dealing with issues and also help find happy customers/users more quickly.

        Twitter already has search capabilities (there is a giant search field on twitter.com) and I'm pretty sure people are already doing exactly this. Frankly, search engine integration seems like a huge piece of non-news, and likely to be quite annoying (

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        That was the first time I saw a real opportunity for twitter to be something more than a way to keep in touch with friends.

        *Paranoia mode* What, as a tool for companies to spy on you and get their sales reps to pounce when you say bad words about them?

        • Nobody pounced - they helped me out, fixed the issue in an update and made it work better. It was an awesome example of customer service.

          • by IBBoard (1128019)

            They're techs and they got to you in a few minutes. Once Marketing start using it pro-actively to silence...sorry, "improve customer relations with" anyone who has a complaint about their product so that their complaints don't continue then there'll be much pouncing for the sake of corporate image.

            • And doing what when they 'pounce'? Silencing how? Really what could they do that wouldn't only bring more attention to whatever the problem is?

              • by IBBoard (1128019)

                What'll they do? Probably the same thing as the call centres try to do if you call them with a product complaint - fob you off with stories about how it is a "one off", offer you replacements/upgrades/incentives and generally try to placate you so that you don't continue to yell about how bad a product it is. If you say "sorry, we'll replace it and give you some money back" then most people will forgive almost any issue with something they bought and go on to say how the customer service was great, ignoring

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      Twitter results valuable for real-time breaking news?

      I can just see it now. I hear about a gas main explosion in Portland and do a search to find out more.

      Search for: "explosion in portland maine"

      Twitter: 100,000,000,000 duplicate results "OMFG did u reedz da n00z? Expl0zorz in P0rtlnd M@1nzorz!"
      Local news has some relatively detailed breaking news pages.
      Everyone else has regurgitated Reuters stories: "Gas main explosion takes out home in some hicktown in middle of frozen hinterlands, no one hurt. We a

      • your probably right, for mainstream media news stories anyway, most of the tweets would be pointless repeating.

        but what about news that the mainstream media doesn't want you to hear?

        for example, anti-olympic protesters at the upcoming games in Vancouver BC could use this to search for first hand accounts of the protests. i could see co-ordinators using this service to communicate with protestors in realtime to amplify and distribute virally what will be posted on sites like indymedia.org.

        that is but one ex

        • by natehoy (1608657)

          OK, I can see that - where the government or the media are suppressing news having Twitter is better than having nothing.

          Of course, since Google has a history of caving to government demands, I wonder - will they simply lock down the search results in the same way? Or, alternatively, will the first person and accurate reporting be lost in a sea of Twitter astroturfing?

          I mean, some of them are going to be obvious. A few people take real pictures in Iran at the election protests, then suddenly we get 12 bil

  • Oh no! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:15AM (#29833815) Homepage

    It's time for Twoogle!

  • by IBBoard (1128019) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:18AM (#29833835) Homepage
    Great. I'm sure that with Twitter messages in the search results they'll just become so packed with information. After all, 140chars can hol<eof>
  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecatedNO@SPAMema.il> on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:24AM (#29833889) Journal

    I can see this being immediately useful for news searching, as tweets tend to be an extremely fast source for breaking news in all fields. Twitter has also been useful for finding interesting articles on topics relevant to my interests (security, IT and a bit of politics), so tapping this could open up a lot of information previously hidden behind Twitter's walls.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:49AM (#29834075) Homepage
      britneyspears: im eatin a donut lol i now i shoodnt but there so delish
      britneyspears: donut stuck
      britneyspears: cant breeth
      britneyspears: srsly sum1 dial 9!1
      britneyspears: help mi u fckrz

      The entertainment world was rocked today by new of the untimely death of troubled diva Britney Spears...

      I think we may have different ideas on what "useful" means.

      • And while funny, what possible search would've lead to those results?

        Go Google something generic sometime like "mom" or "health" or "driving" and see how good Google is at filtering out "I was driving yesterday and saw my mom working the side of the road. The potential effects on her health worried me" from someone's personal website.

      • I think we can all agree there is SOME logical content on Twitter. I'm in favor of Google's decision.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      You can find useful articles on Twitter? Wow, that's quite an achievement. I've found Twitter accounts via blogs where the Twitter is just an RSS feed for the blog I came from, and I've found Twitter accounts that I thought might be interesting but weren't (like Miguel de Icaza, since I work with Mono/C#) but I've yet to actually find anything useful on there that isn't either a) available elsewhere (e.g. a proper RSS feed) or b) horribly drowned out by noise.

  • Please go away (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:26AM (#29833903) Homepage
    How long before Twitter becomes a has-been like Everquest, Myspace, Tron Guy, and that rabbit that balances pancakes on its head? Anyone got an estimate on the timeline? Don't these things usually take 18 months to complete?

    Oh yeah, right, twitter is a game-changer that can overthrow governments. Good job they did in Iran, wot?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nihixul (1430251)
      While I'm hardly a Twitter devotee, I don't think it's fair to measure the value of Twitter's service during the Iran election fallout by whether or not it actually led to a regime change.
    • I don't really understand why people complain about things like twitter or "everquest". Sure, things like myspace are trashy and annoying, but it's not like anybody is FORCING you to go to these websites. I do not remember ever unintentionally running into a single myspace or twitter page, and that is with copious amounts of Stumbl(eUpon)ing in firefox. Sure, you hear about twitter in the news once in a while or companies set up myspace pages to try to be hip, but does that really affect you? If other peopl
    • How long before Twitter becomes a has-been like Everquest, Myspace, Tron Guy, and that rabbit that balances pancakes on its head? Anyone got an estimate on the timeline? Don't these things usually take 18 months to complete?

      Email and IM haven't gone away have they? Twitter has been around for three years now, and really growing in mindshare and popularity for two. It's not going anywhere.

      Oh yeah, right, twitter is a game-changer that can overthrow governments. Good job they did in Iran, wo

      • Email and IM haven't gone away have they? Twitter has been around for three years now, and really growing in mindshare and popularity for two. It's not going anywhere.

        Email and IM now have a lovely child called Wave [google.com]
  • I'm going to get 140,000,000 hits of "RT @mrmarky RIP Kayne West Imma let you finish, but balloon boy had the best hoax of all time lol!"

    Fuck.

  • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:32AM (#29833947)
    This does not seem to be a good thing. I find that Google already brings up far too much noise in the form of forum posts. All this does is add a whole new level of noise.

    I dare say Demi Moore will find this useful, but I do not want this at all. I guess I now have to add a "-twitter" along with the "-ebay -amazon -wikipedia", etc qualifiers in order to actually find something of value.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tonycheese (921278)

      I completely disagree with the idea of "forum noise" unless I'm misunderstanding you somehow. My searches very often land me on a useful forum page somewhere. For example, if I'm looking up an answer to a question related to a game or technical help with software, I will more often than not end up on a forum where people have discussed or are discussing the issue. Of course, if you are also adding -wikipedia to your searches, we are working in two completely different planes of existence.
      For twitter, though

    • forum posts arent really noise if youre looking to the answer to a question. A lot of the info i look for is found in forum posts (ie, "Why does XX in symantec endpoint not work")
  • It would be nice if this could just be a preference, sort of like include special opt in from twitter, else just keep my searches the way they are....also by default this option is selected keep it the way it is, I hate having to rechange everything configured each patch.

  • And the earlier announcement that Bing has also signed a Twitter & Facebook search deal??

    Oh right, slashdot.

  • by ponos (122721) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @09:58AM (#29834665)

    Honestly, given the nature of the site and the kind of communication it promotes, I wonder whether there is any *original* information that can be found in there. I mean, great scientists, philosophers and artists did exchange letters in the past, but even if we're talking about some real geniuses, I don't see how the "tweet" format can ever contain anything more than shit. It's not easy to convey a properly argumented original thought in 160 characters... So, in the end I don't see why anyone would care to search tweeter data at all. Other maybe for the purpose of some obscure IgNobel-worthy research or in the case of stalkers following the hot star of the moment (when exactly did she pee? that is the question...).

    P.

    • by prunedude (806692)
      From the techcrunch article [techcrunch.com]:

      Now that Google and Bing are getting the firehose, it could have a big impact on search results. For the search engines, the firehose is much more valuable than any single Tweet. They can index it and sift it, looking for patterns and spikes in keywords and shared links to get a better sense of what people across the Web are paying attention to at any given moment. This data can then be folded back into regular search results, even if the top result isn't a Tweet.

      For example, if a link to a post about healthcare reform on an obscure blog suddenly gains currency and is retweeted hundreds of times, that is a signal to perhaps rank that link higher in searches about "healthcare reform." If people stop Tweeting about it, then maybe it goes down in the ranking. But Google and Bing can use the firehose as a rich source of signals to mine and then blend back into regular search results.

    • I wonder whether there is any *original* information that can be found in there. It's not easy to convey a properly argumented original thought in 160 characters...

      I take it then, that you've never heard of a URL?

    • by Prien715 (251944)

      I don't see how the "tweet" format can ever contain anything more than shit

      E=MC^2 (6 chars)

      How's that?;) For googling mathematical formulas, it might actually be nice. I can imagine not remembering how to calculate standard deviation, check the value of a constant, or take some exotic integral off the top of my head...and 160 chars or less would be perfect for an answer.

      Maybe what is the capital of X questions could be useful twitter fodder...maybe you could even ask topical questions like "Is interstate

    • It's not easy to convey a properly argumented original thought in 160 characters...

      I agree that Twitter in its current form would be terrible for argument mapping. However, in one sense it would be beneficial to limit a single claim or assertion to a certain character length, provided that there is a way to represent the overall argument as a tree or web of assertions. The limitation would force the arguer to organize their elaboration.

      Elaboration is crucial to productive arguing, but it's something the reader should be allowed to hide during their initial encounter with the argument.

      I

  • I'm not interested in twitter and I'm already annoyed by the huge amount of auto generated blog pages that result from google searches these days. I'm using Wikipedia more and more than Google to search things because with Wikipedia I know I'll get an interesting page as result, not some unwitty blog page. And now even MORE twitter and similar things are going to mixed into this? No thanks.
  • Ironically when Gmail and Google go down, I search Twitter to see if it's just me or if anyone else is experiencing it too.
  • So Google's signal to noise ratio just dropped through the floor. Each day it'll now be indexing several million variations on "I just ate a delicious sandwich for lunch - yum!" and other such high-quality Twitter content.

  • I see I am not in disagreement with anyone as to the additional clutter that this will likely add to our search results. It seems that Google continuously piles more straw on the metaphorical haystack, leaving the few needles of information I seek buried ever deeper. The thing is that all those pieces of straw really have strings attached in the form of metadata. Google knows - or should know - where all the pages they index come from. They should be able to relatively easily categorize those sites as manuf

  • I'm trying to figure out what kind of useful/relevant information a tweet could contain. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out why people use twitter. Does that make me old or just not a narcissist?
  • More cruft (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Migraineman (632203)
    Honestly, I don't understand the necessity of people to document the minutiae of their lives. Nobody cares that you just ate a cheese and mustard sandwich, and now have gas. I came up with this little gem discussing twitter the other day:

    "What's in a name? that which we call a turd
    By any other name would smell as tweet."

    That about sums it up (with apologies to Willy the Shake, Romeo and his SO.)
  • wut u tkn bt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uncanny (954868)
    I dont understand the point of all of this? How will joining twitter into google searches bring me more porn?
  • Value (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashmojo (818930) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @12:32PM (#29836611)

    and nothing of value was found..

    Twitter does have its (commercial) uses but there seems to be such an enormous amount of crap posted and 'retweeted' ad infinitum. I hope bing/google can reliably filter and sort it so only good stuff surfaces but I have my doubts.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @12:40PM (#29836719) Homepage

    Over the past two years, it seems that Google has been redesigning their search system for dumber and dumber users. They now seem to be targeting the room-temp IQ crowd.

    Google used to just suggest spelling corrections. Now, it applies them. If you don't want spelling correction, you must put the search term in quotes. This leads to results like the one for "ndia intellectual property", where NDIA is the National Defense Industrial Association. Google gives back mostly results about "India", not "NDIA". This happens on all searches where the term searched is near a common word.

    Then there's the missing word problem. It used to be that if you searched for several words, all the words had to be present. That's no longer true. Google will return results it likes that don't contain some of the words. If you want to insist that a word be present, you have to quote it.

  • Can I just contradict all the pessimists here for a sec? The only people I know who currently use Twitter are techies who use it to exchange systems support tidbits with each other. Things like "How do I make Cyrus IMAP listen on an alternate port?"

    As long as the questions come with subsequent answers, Google will probably do a good job with this stuff. And don't forget the information value in any links provided in response tweets.

    (BTW I don't use Twitter myself, and have never even tried it)

  • this is about the most donotwant that i've seen in a while.
  • There you go, I did it for both already. Let me know where to pick up my check.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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