Twitter Getting Serious About Search

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Twitter is putting a lot more muscle behind its search engine, which it picked up via its acquisition of Summize last year. Good move, as Twitter’s real-time search capabilities are among its biggest chances to be worth more than $1 billion someday.

Specifically, Twitter will add two new features to its search tool, according to Twitter’s new VP of Operations, Santosh Jayaram, who spoke to CNET’s Rafe Needleman. (Jayaram was previously senior manager of search quality for Google.)

  • It will crawl the links people add in their tweets, not just the text they tweet.
  • It will sort search results by Twitter users’ reputation, not just by chronology.

These are not major leaps in technology. But they are both obvious and smart features that will help increase Twitter’s lead as the best utility for searching the real-time Web. (We’re not sure how Twitter will calculate “reputation,” but it’s easy to mimic a Google-like PageRank system using Twitter’s key metrics, such as follower count, longevity, references, and retweets.)

They’re also both features that it’d be tricky for Google or Microsoft to replicate without effectively recreating Twitter on their own servers — making Twitter a more valuable acquisition target.

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