Google's inclusion of Twitter's Promoted Tweets into its real-time search results represents more than just the first time Google is including ads not fueled by AdWords on its properties.
It sets up the possibility that Google could acquire Twitter at a later date, according to Paul Byrne, a senior account manager at search engine optimization specialist Greenlight.
Promoted Tweets marks Twitter's first foray into online advertising, letting advertisers such as Starbucks pay $100,000 to push their products on Twitter. The ads are available on Twitter.com and through Twitter partners, which is how they landed on Google's Realtime search page.
That move is an upgrade from the previous arrangement, where Google has been paying Twitter to index its stream of tweets on its real-time search engine.
Byrne, a former relationship manager at Google in the U.K., said that though Twitter reportedly rebuffed acquisition offers from Google, the Promoted Tweets arrangement proves there are ongoing discussions between the two companies.
"With Google's stated goal of acquiring one new company a month, Twitter would seem a nice fit if both sides could agree on a price," Byrne wrote in a blog post Dec. 13.
"Google has a huge war chest to fall back on. It has a tendency to snap up leading sector companies when it can. We have seen this with Double Click and YouTube in the past. So why not Twitter?"
He noted that such a deal would benefit both companies and their advertisers. Tweets and Promoted Tweets could ultimately be seeded across Google's search properties, including Google News, Google Finance, Google Product Shopping, and Google Books. Twitter would undoubtedly reach more users than it currently can.
The deal would give Google sturdier footing in the social sector, where the search engine is weak. This is particularly necessary after Microsoft Bing embarked on deep integrations with Facebook.