Yahoo Search Now Indexing Twitter Tweets for Breaking News

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-19 Print this article Print

Yahoo Nov. 19 began indexing Twitter tweets, photos and videos pertaining to breaking news stories on its Yahoo News Shortcut, which is displayed on the company's search results page when users search for fresh news.

Today, users will see new tabs for Twitter, news, photos and videos, when they search on a topic, such as "Maersk, Alabama." Clicking on the Twitter tab surfaces fresh tweets on the topic:

Yahoo twitter 1.png

Or, search for "Space Shuttle Atlantis" and you can see news, photo, video, and Twitter tabs in the news shortcut. Clicking on the Videos tab yielded this:

Yahoo Video 1.png

You can scroll from left to right through the photos and videos tabs, which pull information from Yahoo News.

Yahoo Search engineers Ivan Davtchev and Nitzan Achsaf wrote:

This is our first integration of fresh social content like Twitter into Web search, and we are planning to continue further along these lines. In the future we will enhance this experience with more real-time and exciting content so you can find all the information you need about a news event in one place.

This is a smart, logical move by Yahoo, but it also feels like a me,too shot after Microsoft launched Bing Twitter one month ago. But hey, at least Yahoo beat Google to indexing real-time tweets.

I've already noted how indexing real-time information can help the search engines.

I haven't heard yet if Yahoo's Twitter integration comes courtesy of the alleged real-time pact it inked with OneRiot.

Yahoo needs help. Fast.

As I reported earlier this week, Google and Microsoft's collective gain for October came at the expense of Yahoo, which plummeted to 18 percent in October from the prior month's total of 18.8 percent. That's Yahoo's lowest share ever and its largest month-to-month share decline since August 2008.

I asked Yahoo how planned to avoid being further squeezed by its rivals. A Yahoo spokesperson responded through the lens of the new Twitter tweets:

As of today, the other search providers don't have experiences like the one we are launching. We are the first company to aggregate all that content in one place for our users. Between the unique Y! News content and the "from the field" Twitter info, our users get to experience truly advanced search results -- with relevant and recent news, images and tweets -- when searching about a current or timely topic.

Okay, but it's not like Yahoo will advertise these new features. People aren't suddenly going to leave Google or Bing, which is already indexing Twitter quite nicely, for this feature upgrade.

Now that Yahoo is indexing tweets, albeit for breaking news, will the people come? |

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