In the latter part of 2009 both Google and Microsoft struck deals with Twitter almost simultaneously. This gave both search engines the ability to have real-time results for search queries. Microsoft hit the ground running with the deal and immediately released their version of real-time search also announcing that users with more followers will have their tweets ranked higher and those who essentially retweet will have those tweets ranked lower. Google, on the other hand, took its time to release its version of real-time search.
Google integrated real-time search with its traditional SERPs with its sources being a number of social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter of course. Sticking to tradition, Google did not release how they will rank tweets initially. However, in a recent interview with Amit Singhal, who led the development for real-time search for Google, with MIT’s Technology Review reviled one part of Google’s ranking algorithm for tweets.
From what Singhal said in the interview, Google will rank tweets in the same way it ranks web pages. It is, in essence, Google’s PageRank algorithm rewritten for Twitter; replace links with followers and you got its “TweetRank” algorithm. Singhal said that tweets will be ranked based not only on how many followers you have, but also “how reputable those followers are.”
The common practice of using hashtags in tweets may be a bad thing for those trying to rank their tweets. Hashtags are commonly a sign of low quality tweets and will become a part of Google’s spam control strategy. This may, in fact, cause a significant reduction in the usage of hashtags by Twitter users.
Being Google, they did not tell us everything about how they will rank tweets. Keep in mind that Twitter is Google’s only source for real-time search; Facebook, MySpace, and other social network, as well as blogs, will play a big role in real-time search. Though they have not released any official information, it is probable that Google will rank things like Facebook posts in the same way it will for Twitter.
Google to Rank Tweets by http://www.thewebsquad.com/index.php/2010/01/14/google-to-rank-tweets/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.technologyreview.com.