NEW YORK—Google Inc. this week announced a new partnership with microblogging service Twitter to integrate real-time search results into its search engine, to better compete with Microsoft Corp.’s Bing service.
Google, the Web’s leading search engine, is moving toward up-to-the-second search results to take advantage of increasingly real-time information from the Web, including feeds and updates from social networking and blogging sites Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. The strategy comes after Bing’s announcement in October to include Twitter and Facebook feeds into its search services.
"Users will get results on results page as they are being produced out there," Google Fellow Amit Singhal said at a press event held near the firm's headquarters in Mountain View, California, according to a Google statement. Real-time searches in other languages should arrive next year, the company said.
Blogging has become an increasingly large part of gathering information from the Web. Google’s news feeds already include results from blogs, but lately Twitter and Facebook have also attracted the attention of online media.
One of the most prominent usages of Twitter was the recent elections in Iran, where a government restriction on foreign media forced journalists to resort to gathering Twitter updates sent from Iranian mobile phones.
In addition, Google is innovating new ways to search. A new “a visual search application that lets you search for objects using images rather than words, using your camera phone,” Singhal said in a blog post.
The latest comScore market research pegs Google’s online search market share at around 65 percent, followed by Yahoo with an 18 percent market share. Microsoft’s share in aggregate (including MSN, Windows Live, and Bing) is 10 percent.
Google did not disclose the financial terms of its agreement with Twitter.
Wooing Small Businesses
On Monday, Google created a new service to promote small businesses. The initiative, called “Favorite Places on Google,” lets business owners place a sticker with a bar code on their storefronts.
Any pedestrian with an Apple iPhone, Android-powered smartphones, or Blackberry devices can scan the code, which will bring up the store’s latest promotions, reviews, coupons, or other offers to entice the customer to go inside.
“We plan to periodically send out new waves of window decals to qualifying businesses,” said Google Product Marketing Managers David Kim and Ryan Hayward in an announcement. “If you own or manage a business and were selected as a Favorite Place, you may have already received your decal or, for most of you, it will arrive by mail in the next one to two weeks.”
Entrepreneurs that didn’t automatically qualify can sign up from Google’s Local Business Center for free. The service currently only works with certain metropolitans within the United States.