Google, Twitter and Real-Time Search Integration

Loraine Lawson

One thing I like to do when I use Twitter is to search for a person's name and see if they have a Twitter account. I mostly use Google's search engine, so I put in the name and "Twitter." If they have an account, it pops right up.


Except, a few days ago, my brilliant and easy search plan failed me. Suddenly, what popped to the top were tweets by other people, referencing the name I was actually searching for. Now, it was minor, since the tweets linked to the Twitter account I needed, but it added to my search time and annoyed me a bit.


It turns out, this isn't something Google's doing to make my life a tad more complicated, but a new integration with Twitter ... and, as I learned yesterday, possibly a brilliant business move.


Just days after announcing its real-time search capabilities, Google followed up by revealing that its Google Search Appliance can be used to find pertinent tweets.


Now, no doubt you, astute reader, immediately see how this could be really useful to businesses, but just in case, Google's blog connected the dots for us:


"Social information is important for businesses: employees searching for information needed to do their jobs benefit from real-time news too. They might be developing a new breakfast cereal, or designing a marketing plan for a clothing line, or writing strategy report for a political campaign. In all of these cases, understanding what is being said just as Twitter users are saying it can be invaluable."


No kidding.


Here's one thing you probably won't find in a search: The financial terms of the Google/Twitter integration which are, according to Tech Crunch, "unclear."


Companies have been watching social media for some time now, although they've struggled with how to effectively manage monitoring these fast-paced, real-time, very public sites. Certainly they watch for complaints, but they also use Twitter and its ilk to develop relationships with customers.


Google's integration with Twitter makes this easier-especially since users can customize how the tweets are viewed within search results and see the results within the same window as internal corporate information, a feature Google calls Related Web Results. And that's no small amount of internal information - according to Tech Crunch, the Google Search Appliance can index 30 million documents.


Google believes this integrated search function adds to the business value of real-time information:


"Customers have told us that placing web results next to intranet ones often allows employees to think differently about a particular topic and approach it in new ways. By integrating enterprise search with more of the information that exists in the cloud, like tweets, employees can more easily leverage the wisdom of the crowd."


Earlier this year, Salesforce.com added Twitter integration as a free add-on to its existing Service Cloud. After that announcement, DataMonitor raised several questions about how useful integration with Twitter would be. I would say three of those questions also apply to the Google deal, particularly this one: Is Twitter reliable enough to make this useful?


I would also add that I've had issues already with links to tweets being deadends, which is never good - even if it is a real-time deadend.


Speaking of real time, if you're interested in learning how you can leverage real-time data integration at your company, you might want to sign up for a Dec. 15 webcast featuring Forrester analyst Rob Karel.


Karel will discuss the trends in real-time data integration and examine architectural best practices. He'll also share how real-time data can work with business intelligence to "foster better customer relationships, reduce risk, and improve profitability."


It's sponsored by Oracle, so part of the presentation will also showcase Oracle Data Integration products, including Oracle GoldenGate and Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition.


The free event begins at 10 AM, PST. You'll need to provide basic company information to register.

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