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Good news for tweeters: Google may be testing a microblog search tool

By Matthew Shaer / June 15, 2009



Could Google be testing a microblog search application?

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That's the rumor swirling around the blogosphere today, days after the Google Operating System blog unearthed evidence in the FAQ section of a company blog. According to GOS, "Google [is] preparing to launch a service that indexes and ranks content from microblogging services like Twitter."

If true, the move could revolutionize the way we tweet. As Randall Stross and others have noted, Twitter's search function is inherently limited – it allows users to sift through old posts, but every item is ordered chronologically, and finding older information can be a hassle.

"[If] one wants to search Twitter for tweets about a topic... Twitter’s data fill an ocean in which it’s hard to find specific fish," Stross wrote in Sunday's New York Times.

Reporters have long wondered if Google was preparing a real-time search function. Google crawls and indexes web pages regularly – including posts on Twitter. But the algorithm does not analyze and process information in real time.

According to CNET's Tom Kraznit, Google did not confirm or deny the existence of a microblog search initiative.

"At Google we strive to connect people to all the world's information, and this includes information that's frequently updated such as news sites, blogs and real-time sources," the company wrote in a statement. "While we don't have anything to announce today, real-time information is important, and we're looking at different ways to use this information to make Google more useful to our users."

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