Ignoring Twitter, Hazardous to Google Blog Search Traffic

March 13, 2009

Upfront let me say that data about traffic from reputable analytics shops are subject to considerable variance. The data are not “wrong”; the data represent a sample and must be viewed as “close enough for horseshoes”. The March 11, 2009, article “Twitter Search Traffic Po9ised to Eclipse Google Blog Search” here is interesting and suggestive, not definitive. Twitter, the two year old micro blogging service, is now being recognized as the leader in real time search. (Please, don’t write me to explain that another system is “real time”. Twitter’s real time means that the content exists in a transient form, so a query reflects the informational equivalent of taking a pulse.

The big takeaway from this Steve Rubel article was:

Consider this nugget. According to compete.com (an account is required to view this subdomain data), traffic to search.twitter.com tripled in the last six months. Meanwhile, Google Blog Search traffic is flat and, only until just recently, the same can be said for Technorati. More importantly, Twitter Search has just about eclipsed Google Blog Search. As of February, Twitter Search attracted 1.35 million users while Google Blog Search, which has been plagued by relevance issues, sits at 1.38 million users.

Even this addled goose has figured out that Twitter is doing something in search that Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo either cannot do because it has arteriosclerosis or because it sees the Twitter posts are trivial. In my tiny pond filled with mine run off, the Twitter content can yield useful, actionable information. Yesterday I explained its utility to a dozen law enforcement professionals. To my surprise, the listeners understood the value of the system. That was encouraging. Mr. Rubel’s interpretation of Compare data suggests others are on the Twitter wavelength as well.

Stephen Arnold, March 13, 2009


2 Responses to “Ignoring Twitter, Hazardous to Google Blog Search Traffic”

  1. Martin Griffies on March 13th, 2009 4:49 am

    Google blog search is not very effective. I have found that when searching using keywords that I know exist within a blog, even the Google (Blogspot) product, the entries cannot be found. Search by author regularly misses blogs which I know exist. It also appears that comments on blogs are not searchable by keyword or author.

  2. Stephen E. Arnold on March 14th, 2009 9:18 am

    Martin Griffies,

    One search system is not enough. Web logs deserve a more exacting information access method. Specialized indexing can address this problem. I have a search solution that works quite well for certain collections of Web logs. I do charge for building these indexes and keeping them fresh.

    Stephen Arnold, March 14, 2009

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