Does Google Need Twitter?

By mkeagymkeagy (1257302715|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

The Search Deal

Only hours after Microsoft annouced Bing's partnership with Twitter and Facebook, Google fired back and announced they would begin including tweets in Google search results as well. The promtness of Google's reaction is not that suprising to those following Google—they have been indexing tweets for months now. However, it does shed light on the question: does the seemingly invincible Google really need Twitter to stay on top?


The Battle for Real Time Search

For now, Google is the clear winner in the Google vs. Bing war. The original fears of Bing becoming a viable alternative that's on-par with Google has subsided, with minute gains in market share for Bing. However, Bing clearly wants to be the leader in real-time search. The shot heard 'round the web was the Bing Twitter Search announcement. In short, it signaled not just Bing's desire to be the market leader for real time information, but also legitimized Twitter as a viable source of real-time information and not just a fad. A longstanding concern of industry experts has been that Twitter lacked the revenue sources to sustain a profitable business model. The solution appears to lie in contracts like those with Bing and Google to provide real-time information. Add this to Twitter's recent $100 million in additional funding, and Twitter is going nowhere anytime soon.


The Threat

The significance of Google's quick reaction is that it legitimizes real time search as a threat in which Google can not be beaten. Any thoughts to a partnership with Facebook are out of the question since Microsoft bought a stake in the company back in 2007 and is already paired up with Bing. Without Twitter on their side, Google would continue to lose searches to Bing, Yahoo, and Facebook. While each of the 3 competitors alone may be tiny compared to Google's overwhelming dominance in internet searches, the potential of a Bing+Yahoo+Facebook scenario should scare Google, and it apparently does.



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