Sunday, March 13, 2011

Does Twitter scare Google?

For more than a decade, Google has held the unofficial title of search engine “king”.

When friends are sitting around the table, discussing virtually any current or past subject, almost universally people have different opinions or memories on the topic. I’m sure you’ve heard or maybe even used the catch word phrase “let’s Google it?”. I have.

Just recently, I’ve begun to hear a few people start saying they don’t “Google” any more, they “Bing”. Now most of the “Bing” talk has arisen from the influx of smart phones using Windows Mobile as an operating system. Windows Mobile comes with Bing as it’s default search engine. That, coupled with the fact that Windows Internet Explorer now comes with Bing as default, all seems to be targeting Google’s dominance.

Where does Twitter search come in? By sheer volumes, Twitter search doesn’t seem to be much of a danger to Google’s position at the top. However, with the hunger of today’s social media explosion trending towards the need for real time updates, Twitter seems to have several advantages over Google.

Here are a couple examples why I feel Twitter search may be gaining an edge.  Twitter gives instant access to the current chatter on a given subject. I took the liberty of Twitter searching Japan this morning and the results seemed endless, just within the last 5 minutes of “tweets”. It gives personal experiences and opinions that many of us prefer reading over yesterday’s stale news.

A second advantage of Twitter is it can be used in real life. I saw an example on the evening news yesterday of how people are using Twitter to create “Tweetups”. A “Tweetup is defined by Wiktionary as a “real life meet up of two or more people using the social media site Twitter” (http://tinyurl.com/22rb8es ). Gretchen Kinder (Twitter name Clownface3) met up with Trish Fontanilla (Twitter name TrishoftheTrade) for the first time and their friendship never missed a beat. They had been following each other on Twitter and exchanged tweets daily. It seemed to both of them they'd known each other for years.

Another great example was last night….I was watching Fox 25 news in Boston when anchorwoman Sara Underwood did a feature on the Japan earthquake and was able to contact a US citizen in Japan, (whom she located via Facebook; she could have used Twitter just as easily), then connect to him for an interview over Skype. How times are changing! This illustrates today’s move towards the use of real time chatter and makes me believe Twitter search may yet pose a threat to Google. Only time will tell……

As always, I enjoy hearing your thoughts on this and l hope to see many comments on this one!

2 comments:

  1. Great post, Dave. While I love the 140 characters, I don't think Twitter will ever beat out Google for search. Now, Facebook is one to be reckoned with as they beat Google in site traffic month over month.

    At the same time, unless there's a massive reshift in their business plan, Google is going to come out on top of Microsoft. What small business wants to spend $$ on licenses these days, when Google offers docs, apps and more for business....free.

    My 2 cents. :)

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  2. useful information! though I have to wonder about the sheer density of ephemera flooding the Internet. apparently, everyone wants expression (this post is another example); but who's listening? and who has the time to listen?

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