Whenever the subject of real-time search and/or Twitter search comes up, someone inevitably argues that there’s too much noise to make it worthwhile; there are too many random conversations and meaningless chatter to find anything of value. It’s a generally fair argument. But one company thinks it’s found a way to cut through some of that noise.
OneRiot, a real-time search engine for web and video content, has launched a new Twitter search engine with a unique angle: Rather than focus on what people are saying, the search engine focuses on the web pages people are linking to.
“Our approach is, you’d go to Twitter for the conversation,” says OneRiot GM Tobias Peggs, “but you’d come to OneRiot for the content.”
How It Works
One Riot indexes tweets, looking for messages with embedded links, then crawls and indexes the content being linked to. The OneRiot algorithm includes spam analysis and has checks for timeliness, relevance, and a “hotness”/freshness factor for URLs that are being talked about a lot in recent tweets. Here’s what it looked like yesterday on a search for iPhone:
As you can see, the focus is on content — on the URLs people are discussing and sharing on Twitter. Search results are displayed in the familiar Title-Snippet-URL format. But Twitter is a social site, so OneRiot’s search results also include some social elements for anyone who wants to dip into the conversation. Each result includes a reference to how recently the URL was shared on Twitter, how many tweets mention it, and who first found it on Twitter. Clicking on the “Shared in (N) tweets” link displays the tweets that mention this URL:
(you can click for the larger version of both images on Flickr)
It’s a unique approach to Twitter search that should prove particularly beneficial to the growing business community on Twitter. In my short time testing the service, I found that it does bypass a lot of the noise and chatter, and leads more quickly to relevant content. And there’s a convenience factor, too, in that OneRiot’s search expands shortened URLs, so you can see the actual content people are talking about without having to click first on a TinyURL or some other link.
An alpha version of their Twitter search engine is available now at twitter.oneriot.com. The company plans to get user feedback for at least a few weeks before eventually moving Twitter search to the main OneRiot.com search engine. You can message @OneRiot on Twitter to give feedback.