There’s a much longer post to be written on Google and so-called “real-time” search. Twitter is both more and less than a search engine, but there are lots of third parties doing search-like things around the Twitter data. However, yesterday at an event in London, Loic Le Meur elicited this response from Google co-founder Larry Page after a question about Twitter:
“I have always thought we needed to index the web every second to allow real time search. At first, my team laughed and did not believe me. Now they know they have to do it. Not everybody needs sub-second indexing but people are getting pretty excited about realtime.”
More interesting than perhaps whether Google takes Twitter seriously — we already know they did — is the question of how Google would do this and what it might show, given how much noise, fluff and garbage shows up on Twitter.
There’s also a great deal of value in what’s showing up on Twitter but getting at that in a coherent way is where the challenge resides. I would guess that Google will study some of the third parties trying to index tweets and the related pages they cite to determine an approach.
Here’s more discussion of Page’s remark on Techmeme.