Microsoft adds real-time search capabilities to its Bing search engine as it seeks to knock Google from its search perch.
Now users can use Bing to find the latest Twitter tweets. The Intial move comes as startups CrowdEye, Collecta and others are propagating the Web with real-time search.
In a surprise move. Microsoft July st1 added the ability for users to search Twitter tweets with its Bing search engine, the company’s latest attack on Google’s search stronghold. Bing has has started integrating real time Twitter search results into its results. This is definitely a first by any major search engine out there and will obviously be a feather in the cap for Microsoft.
Bing will only Index a certain subset of Twitter users as of now based on their follower count and tweet frequencies clarified a blog post on the official Bing Blog. Also, it is interesting to note is that instead of tying up with Twitter, they seem to have just used the public API of Twitter to their advantage. Brilliant move, without doubt. But again, no innovation in Bing.
This gives Bing a feature that archrival Google doesn’t seem to have as of now. Google, however, does have “almost” real time updating ability as is evident from its fast News Indexing capabilities. On the search front however, what currently happens with Google when we search for a Twitter user, what is displayed is usually a direct link to the users Twitter page. It also shows some old, random posts by that user. Bing, on the other hand, will give real time updates by the user.
The feature is being rolled out in phases and some users might not notice its arrival till it’s implemented fully. There’s more to cheer for Microsoft, although this one has nothing to do with the recent Twitter search integration.
In all, Bing seems to be in a favorable position to be one of the main contenders to snare off some market share from the undisputed leader in search – Google.
However, the original fact is, modern search engines were not programmed to account for such immediacy; high-tech reporters have been complaining for months that search engines don’t index real-time search data from Twitter and other content sources. Bing’s move changes that, as Sean Suchter, general manager of Microsoft’s Search Technology Center noted.
“Today we’re unveiling an initial foray into integrating more real time data into our search results, starting with some of the more prominent and prolific Twitterers from a variety of spheres. This includes Tweets from folks from our own search technology and business sphere like Danny Sullivan or Kara Swisher as well as those from spheres of more general consumer appeal like Al Gore or Ryan Seacrest.”
Suchter said Bing is not indexing Twitter in its entirety just yet; this is a gradual rollout. “We picked a few thousand people to start, based primarily on their follower count and volume of tweets. We think this is an interesting first step toward using Twitter’s public API to surface Tweets in people search.”
Microsoft is hardly the first to crack this nut.
“What other people do with the API will be interesting to see. You’ve seen CrowdEye, Collecta, OneRiot and Topsy rushing into the real-time search space because Twitter has popularized this concept. We’ll see if it totally gets coopted by the big guys or if it emerges as a separate category that can be won by somebody smaller.”
However, in the grand scheme of things, real-time search may not mean much, It’s just a hype and should not be considered a Big thing to the Bing. It never served it’s basic purpose of search. “Decision engine” is still a fair joke, and Bing still sucks.