Google April 14 added the ability for users to replay Twitter tweets from any point in time on its search results pages, the company's latest effort to improve the relevancy of its search results for users.
Users interested in tracking a trending topic, such as "New York Yankees," would sit in front of their computer and watch the comment stream as older tweets scrolled off search engine results pages (SERPs) and into the void of Google's cloud. Gone, or at least rendered invisible, was the rich history of tweets on a topic.
With Google's new replay feature, users will soon be able to navigate to any point in time on Google SERPS and replay what people said about a topic on Twitter. Think of this as an archive on Twitter. To do this, users must click the Show options tab at the top of the search results page, then select Updates.
The first page will show latest tweets per usual, but now there's a new chart at the top that lets users select the year, month or day, or click any point to view the tweets from that specific time period. What Google has done is essentially taken the search by timeline technology in its Search Options and applied it to the glut of tweet data it gets from Twitter.
See Google's example of a search on tweets for "golden gate park" on March 27, 2010. Users are able to see tweets that tell them that at this park on this Saturday the weather was sunny.
Users can use this as a mini research tool to gauge the online temperature of what users thought about the Tea Party and health care reform, as well as, yes, what people said about the Yankees after they won their 27th World Series championship.
But not just yet. This change is rolling over to users in English over the next few days and not every tweet ever tweeted will be immediately available. In the meantime, users are encouraged to test the Google Twitter archive by going to this link.
Google warned that in the initial test flight, it is tracking tweets back to February 11, 2010. Eventually, the company promised, users will be able to soon search tweets from Twitter's inception in March 2006.
Google's Twitter archive was clearly timed for the launch of the Chirp developer conference in San Francisco today, but so was Bing's new inclusion of tweets within its SERPs.
Microsoft launched Bing Twitter back in October, separating tweets from the core SERPs by putting them on a separate Web page.
But Bing has now followed Google by bringing the same Twitter data from Bing Twitter.This will take two forms.
First, trending topics will appear under a social results banner. Second, Bing will surface the most popular shared links for navigational queries, directly into its SERPs. So if you search for topics on a popular Website, you'll also related tweets in these results. See this result for TMZ.
Bing, which is testing this now with a small number of users and queries, said that it is interested in bringing users "social content generated on Twitter to surface the most relevant updates within seconds of a breaking news event."
This may mean users weren't exactly going to Bing Twitter in droves. What's interesting about this is that Microsoft Bing Director Stefan Weitz told eWEEK last month that he disapproved of the way Google "jammed results into the SERPs."
Yet this is more or less what Bing is now doing.