Collecta CEOs Views on Indexing Tweets

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-28 Print this article Print

Campbell was an adviser to (and investor in) Summize, the real-time search engine Twitter acquired to serve as its platform for letting users find the microblog's content. So he knows a thing or two about what it means to search in real time.

eWEEK asked Campbell whether indexing Twitter content could help Google, which at 65 percent search share arguably doesn't need any more help, and Bing, which is hungry for market share. Campbell isn't sure, but he had some valid points:

"It's hard to say whether the pie will get bigger or not. If you go on Compete and add up all of these real-time sites, they don't make a blip on the scale of Bing or Google. So, the way I frame it is not whether they will end up with bigger share, but whether they end up with more engagement, and I think they end up with more engagement over time."

Campbell added that one of the reasons Google has gotten so dominant is its philosophy of indexing everything. Microsoft is following suit.

Everything includes Twitter tweets and other rapidly evolving content driven by social media, which means they (and Collecta and the raft of other real-time search startups) are on the right path. Campbell added:

"This is a natural progression of the game, but the opportunity in staying in the natural progression of the game ... is user engagement. But that's true for the big guys and the small guys."

No one can say for sure exactly how indexing Twitter content will lift Google or Microsoft, but consider this: Four years ago, no one would have predicted that Facebook would have 300 million users.

Facebook got there through tremendous user engagement, so if that is the direction search is headed-fueled by socially driven content-the future is bright for Bing, Google and the slew of smaller players helping users find what people are saying on the Web right now.


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