Posted October 21, 2009 3:52 pm by with 6 comments

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For many people, real time is the holy grail of search—and an area that the popular microblogging service Twitter has soundly beaten all the search engines on. Google’s struggling with it, and Bing’s last foray, in partnership with Twitter, was disappointing.

twing twitter bingBut they’re not about to make that mistake again. Bing says if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. They’re partnering with Twitter to bring real time to searches.

Bing describes the search engine:

  • A real-time index of the Tweets that match your search queries in results. This feature makes it easier to follow what’s going on by reducing the amount of duplicates, spam, and adult content.
  • Giving you the option to rank tweets either by most recent or by “best match,” where we consider a Tweeter’s popularity, interestingness of the tweet, and other indicators of quality and trustworthiness.
  • Providing the top links shared on Twitter around your specific search query by showcasing a few of the most relevant tweets. Additionally, Bing automatically expands those small URLs (like to enable you to understand what people are tweeting about. Instead of showing standard search result captions, we select 2 top tweets to give users a glimpse of the sentiment around the shared link.

And to see it in action (or you can use it here):1004.IMAGE-1.b

Interestingly, this comes at the same time as other real time search developments from Google. However, real-time indexing and actually accessing the real time information in Twitter can be two vastly different things.

Bing wisely highlights the benefits this real time search info, using personal examples from their staff, most notably “Sean Suchter (my boss) and I avoided a closed freeway on a rainy Seattle day and made our flight home” and “Eric Scheel (principle program manager on the team) a photo-gear junkie, keeps up on early product reviews and owners’ tweets, which helped him decide on his next purchase” (although clearly non-RT search could do that).

For now, the Twitter-enhanced results reside at, but they may be fully integrated with all SERPs later.

A partnership with Facebook is also slated to be announced today.

What do you think? Is this what you’re looking for in real time search? Will you use it? Do you want it on your regular SERPs, or do you like using it separately?

  • not really that big a deal. when i conduct a search, i’m looking for relevance. i’m not interested in eavesdropping into someone else’s [albeit real-time] convo. i for one am not a fan of twitter’s search function. i get better (i.e., more relevant) results searching twitter’s content on google. i don’t see this changing anytime soon even with the bing deal.

    that said, google dropped the ball on offering twitter-specific searches. had they provided the service (the same way they provide image and video searches through their other properties), bing would have little else to run on because aside from great commercials, bing is short on performance / execution.

    my guess is that google threw their “don’t be evil” at twitter just before leaving the roundtable after unsuccessfully making twitter a google property.

  • I agree—I would only want real-time for very specific info. Like I mentioned above, real time doesn’t seem necessary for product reviews. I can see the traffic one; that’s cool. But most of the time, Twitter isn’t going to help me find out who the Yankees’ shortstop was in 1957.

  • The beauty of this is relevancy with Bing. They keep track of retweets and URL’s mentioned and can bring more relevant results than twitters “recent” searches functionality now.. It is good that way and am sure it is going to be used by marketers too!
    .-= Aaron´s last blog ..Bing announces search for Twitter feeds =-.

  • The only time in the past so many months since Twitter came into existence when I found a need for Twitter search results was when an exciting cricket match was on, and I couldn’t get to a TV set..Twitter gave me links to live streaming site whereas Google was giving me seo-spammed results from the old..

    Otherwise, never have I felt a need for real time search over relevance..
    .-= Anand Srinivasan´s last blog ..Average Household Broadband Data Consumption =-.

  • Pingback: Microsoft Outmaneuvers Google with Twitter Deal- This Time | Reaction Radio()

  • Heapr is my new default search for my browser. Google + Twitter/Wolfram/Wikipedia It is giving me Twitter results less than five minutes old, which is real time enough for me. 🙂
    .-= John G. Howard´s last blog ..E-Waste Public Service Announcement =-.