Although Google has been indexing Tweets for over a year it really wasn’t applicable to most organizations because relatively few Tweets were indexed on a timely basis. Google’s introduction of Caffeine (a new type of search for social media) late last year was a significant game changer. Caffeine speeds up the way that Google is able to index pages, particularly for use in real-time social media searches.

We really started to notice changes in the way that Google is displaying the last Tweet from particular accounts in their search results as Caffeine was released. As they continue to refine this application Tweets are showing more and more quickly. Recently this new process was tested. In this test Tweets were sent, and then Google search results were immediately refreshed. Tweets were refreshed almost immediately!

No standard indexing technology could work that quickly. To further enhance this technology Google has gone to the source. Google has now tied their search results directly into the Twitter API. An Application Programming Interface (API) put simply is a particular set of rules and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other. It serves as an interface different software programs and facilitates their interaction.

Most tweets are eventually indexed – some within minutes, some within hours or even days. These Tweets are being presented in their raw form prior to being indexed. The Tweets themselves are not being used in search results through this new method – they will be indexed separately and can then appear in searches as their own listings, but this is different.

‘Indexed’ refers to material that has been read, understood, and classified based upon its content, the history of the domain, links coming into the page, and other factors. Once they’re indexed, they can appear in search results as stand-alone listings.

The cool change is that links within Tweets are maintained. Data is being parsed by hundreds of websites that use the Twitter API. This data is manipulated in many different ways. However, there is only one way to search this data, keywords.

We know how important keywords are in content, Twitter is teaching us how important these keywords are in Tweets. Relationships are created via the keywords that are in the Tweets and people are finding Tweets based on those keyword searches.

There are two types of Twitter keywords, those without and those with hash tags. The first is actual keywords as you imagine them, such as “nursery” and then the hash tag version of a keyword, such as “#nursery”.

Although Google is looking for the latest news and statements on Twitter, they are not interested in conversations amongst users.

In 2010 comScore reported the following for worldwide search queries per top engines:

  • Google: 88 billion per month
  • Twitter: 19 billion per month
  • Yahoo: 9.4 billion per month
  • Bing: 4.1 billion per month

The figures show Twitter is outpacing both Yahoo and Bing in search queries, and Google’s enhanced process just verifies the impact and importance of Twitter. This drives up the value and increased importance of using Twitter as another tool to further engage with your current and potential customers. The rapid integration of Twitter Tweets into Google real-time news results makes Twitter applicable to any user as well as the companies that serve them.