Google, Bing and Yahoo are all showing twitter content in their search results now but Google have taken things a step further with Google Social Search from Google Labs.
Matt Cutts explains how it works:
Note the emphasis that Matt places on the fact that all this data is already publically available!
Basically Google rounds up your social networking activity (such as Twitter, friend feed, blog subscriptions, picassa and so on) and spiders the hell out of it so it can return stuff from your friends and social connections in the search results pages of Google, if you are signed in to your Google account. Only you will see stuff from your network.
Topsy launched earlier this week claiming to be a “search engine powered by tweets” and promising “a new way of looking at the Internet”. “Topsy sees the Internet as a stream of conversations” it claims, “When you search for something on Topsy, such as “free music”, it finds snippets of conversations that match what you’re looking for. Topsy results are the things people link to, when they’re talking about your search terms. Topsy ranks results based on how well they match your search terms, and the influence of the people talking about them.”
Basically it seems to return a series of blog posts that people have linked to on Twitter. Topsy also seems to search Digg, Flickr, Yelp, blogs and other communities in an attempt to return results that are relevant now. However a search on Manchester United returned a stram of stories talking about “tonight’s final against Barcelona” when the final was last night so their results are already out-of-date. Compare the same search on Google news or Twitter itself and you’ll find pages of up to the minute news, articles and blogs.
So it seems Topsy has some way to go yet. Whether they’ll make a dent into Google’s 90% market share remains to be seen.
If you are moving hosting companies and want to avoid any problems with Google rankings here’s a few tips:
1) If possible don’t move your domain name to the new host until the site is up and running on the new host.
2) If that’s not possible then John Mueller’s Twitter Tip of the day: “If you have a generic “your site will be hosted here soon” page, use “noindex” or 503 result code, thanks!” could be the answer.
A site owner recently posted in the Google Webmasters Help Forum about a loss of rankings after moving hosts. Google’s JohnMu had this to say: “It looks like your site might have shown a generic server start page for a while (a “This is the default … server page. (…)” page). When this happens over a few crawls, it can confuse Googlebot enough to cause problems with the indexing of your pages. At the moment it appears that this is no longer happening, so I imagine it’ll just resolve itself automatically over time.“
Combined with John’s Twitter post he’s given us the answer, add the relevant status code or noindex if possible and all will be sorted.
Google joins the micro-blogging service du jour Twitter (Twitter.com/google) and just a few hours later has 25,279 followers. The tweets so far are mainly links to the existing Google blogs but it’s nice to have everything in one place.
Yahoo and Live Search also have twitter accounts but far less followers (4,567 and 1,334 respectively) showing that it dominates even this area of the Internet. They still have a long way to go before they pass Stephen Fry in number of followers though (239,321)!
I will be watching with interest to see what nuggets of useful search information they let out. There’s an interesting Tweet by Matt Cutts responding to the question of why the brand new Google Twitter page already has Page Rank. Apparently the account was registered unofficially in 2007 and Google have just taken it over. Wonder how much they paid for that? And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.