Google, Facebook: Please Leave Twitter Be

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-06-18 Print this article Print

Not sure about you, but I'm trying to stave off the agita I'm getting around the latest Google-Twitter-Facebook clash for real-time search.

Google Operating System's Alex Chitu threw a wrench in the machine when he found Google's code reference to a microblogging service. Chitu wrote:

Much like Google Blog Search, Google's microblogging search service will sort the results by relevancy and it will also be integrated with Google's web search engine: the keywords that are frequently used in recent posts will trigger a MicroBlogsearch universal search group.

The New York Times' Randall Stross is also having issues with this: "Do we really want Google's search engine to swallow Twitter's output as fast as it comes, without filtering, analyzing and ranking by authority?"

Yesterday, we learned Facebook is moving closer to real-time search. Facebook has a fat social network of 200 million users, so real-time search would be a logical feature add there. Facebook already failed to acquire Twitter; providing real-time search to keep traffic from going elsewhere is the next best thing.

Twitter is simple, lively and unfettered except when it comes to searching. I would also like to search Twitter content better. Summize seems to suck, so perhaps Google's microblog search service will help me do this.

I'm not sure I'd like this because I like going to Twitter. Google owns enough of my data and as much as I happily use Gmail, Docs, Reader and other apps, I do get bored of looking at Google pages all day.

In the brick-and-mortar world, I may shop every week at Stop & Shop, but I go to independent food markets for variety. Virtually speaking, I can't go to Google for everything. I mean, I could but I choose not to. It makes the Web a lonely place.

Twitter is one of my few comfortable refuges online. However Google, Twitter and Facebook suss out their real-time search challenges, I hope they do it on their own.

Perhaps newer, smaller startups will be the real-time search targets. Today, Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land detailed real-time search startups CrowdEye and Collecta, which he said join Topsy, OneRiot (check out the new Pulse Rank), Tweetmeme and Scoopler. Sterling adds:

The segment is arguably the hottest in search and there is now a pack of startups that claim to offer "real-time search" capability with Google and Facebook circling overhead.

Let Google and Facebook descend on those smaller startups. I hope Twitter continues to stand alone, and I prefer it to improve in-house rather than run to the arms of Google or Facebook.

Am I alone here? What do you think? |

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