Google’s search engine results could soon include real-time tweets from Twitter under an agreement that the two companies confirmed on Feb. 5.
A Google spokeswoman late Thursday confirmed the partnership between the two companies in an email to eWEEK in which she said she did not have any additional details to share at the moment.
Bloomberg Business on Wednesday reported the development, noting that engineers from the two companies have already begun working on making tweets available on Google search as soon as they are posted.
The tweets will start showing up on Google sometime later this year, according to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources that were close to the deal. In return, Twitter will receive data licensing revenue from Google, Bloomberg said.
Google had a similar arrangement with Twitter back in 2009. Twitter’s feed became a core part of a Google real-time search feature under which it served up fresh content from Twitter and a variety of other sources, including Facebook, Myspace, FriendFeed, Jaiku and Identi.ca.
At that time, Google described its partnership with Twitter as a way to give its search engine users access to the most recent information on a particular topic.
Twitter’s real-time updates were not just a way for people to communicate with each other, but were also an important source of data on events as they were happening, Marissa Mayer, who was then Google’s vice president of search products, noted in a blog post at that time.
“We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months,” she wrote.
Google suspended its real-time search feature a couple of years later when the terms of its agreement with Twitter expired. Since then, Google has not had access to the real-time Twitter feed, but has made publicly posted tweets searchable and available via Google search.
In comments to Search Engine Land at that time, Google had noted that it planned to relaunch real-time search with live data streams from multiple sources. But the company did not give any indication when it planned to do that. The new partnership with Twitter suggests that Google might be planning on relaunching the service soon.
News of the partnership between the two companies sent Twitter’s stock up Thursday, with some financial analysts seeing it as a mutually beneficial arrangement for the two companies.
A JPMorgan analyst quoted in Investor’s Business Daily called the partnership a positive move that could help Twitter boost its number of registered users and give Google access to more user- and social-generated content.
The partnership is not a complete surprise because Twitter has already indicated that it had begun allowing search engines to crawl through its top 50,000 hashtags, IBD quoted the analyst as saying.
In an investor’s note, R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian predicted that Twitter would benefit from the agreement because it would give the company a way to “surface more Twitter content to non-registered users” and drive more traffic to Twitter’s Website and application.
The partnership, meanwhile, will let Google “fill the information gap existing between live events and indexing of related digital content,” Sebastian wrote.