What is WITH you guys? I go away to cover the Fair for one week … seven days … and the entire search engine community goes nuts with news. You couldn’t wait until I was done with the chocolate-covered bacon and the deep-fried cookie dough. You just couldn’t wait. SIGH.
I’m going to be catching up for weeks, you know that? And there’s no better place to start than with the Twitter/Bing/Google news. In case you too were at the Fair when the news broke, here’s an overview of what’s going on:
Bing announced its Twitter search partnership on October 21, as well as a specific Web site for Bing/Tweet searching: http://www.bing.com/twitter.
The front page of the Bing Twitter search shows you a tag cloud of topics on Twitter as well as a set of tweets related to hot topics. The Twitter search is pretty basic; I did a search for coffee. I got a set of the most recent tweets containing that word (that updated in real-time, nice, there’s a pause button too) as well as the top links shared in tweets about coffee. Now that’s nice.
On the left side of the search results page I got a list of topics related to coffee. (Coffee Brands, Coffee Cultures, Gourmet Coffee). It would have been REALLY COOL if these links searched Twitter. But they don’t; they take you back to Bing. I was looking forward to more Twitter searching!
Google’s announcement was on the same day, but unlike Bing Google did not announce a separate place for its Twitter search. Twitter results are integrated into the search results, or will be, I’m not sure which.
Why aren’t I sure? I ran several tests looking for examples of Twitter in Google’s search results. I tried weather in Denver. I got a weather forecast at the top of the page but no tweets. Denver snowstorm? Same thing. I tried earthquakes. I got a great dataset at the top of the page showing recent earthquakes, but no tweets. Google’s new sidebar feature didn’t help me either.
So maybe Google hasn’t quite rolled out its search results with tweets in it yet.
BOTH OF ‘EM
I’m glad the search engines are getting into real-time search. It’s about time. I’m glad Twitter is extending its reach. But I’m disappointed that these searches don’t do more. There ought to be a way you can search verified accounts only. There ought to be a way you can search within a bio at the same time you’re searching tweets. Now that the search engines are beginning to embrace the real-time products of sites like Twitter, how about using those groovy search powers to extend them a little?