Real-Time Search Results vs. Real-Time Data Collection?

While much of the focus of yesterday’s dueling announcements from Google and Microsoft that each search engine would be including real-time Twitter feeds in its search results dealt with the potential benefits to users, I think that’s just a side-effect of the deal.

It would seem to me that the bigger benefit here is that the data from Twitter’s so-called “firehose” of all current Tweets would be a boon to each search engine’s organic search efforts, allowing them to create new algorithms that recognize trending topics more quickly, identify large-scale linking habits, and otherwise improve their overall search results, outside of any Twitter results.

Will this change people’s Twitter habits? Well, there are already plenty of Twitter spammers out there, but this will only serve to encourage them more. Now that these spammers can potentially affect all search results, instead of just Twitter results, they will likely redouble their efforts.

For the non-spammers, this may lead them to think twice before posting something to Twitter, now that it will be more likely that their Tweet will appear in search results on Google or Bing, instead of fading into the obscurity of their Twitter stream.

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