October 26, 2009
Last week at the Web 2.0 summit, Microsoft and Google announced the integration of Twitter’s search results into their search streams, effectively pushing their customer experiences closer to real time. While on the surface this seems to be a benefit for users of their services, the preceding weeks surfaced some confounding positions by the two software juggernauts, namely the submission to pay Twitter for access to their information and, therefore, mine (and yours if you use a non-protected Twitter account).
Clearly there are multiple angles one could take in response to this movement. I for one am still on the fence as to my position…so let’s review some of the gestating ideas:
- Google has fought copyright lawsuits in the past for indexing content. Now they’ve set a precedent and demonstrated that they’re willing to pay to index content. This could potentially be leveraged against them in future or ongoing lawsuits.
- Microsoft, on the other hand, has paid to index content in the past. Is this another sign of Google chasing the tail lights of Microsoft, which seems to be more prevalent these days?
- Conspiracy theory angle: Google wants to digitize and tag all the world’s information. This is another step down that path. Should we expect to see Google pay to index Facebook, MySpace, etc.? What are the implications of having the world’s social data at your disposal? Also, does indexing social content devalue the ‘closed’ social network over time?
- What will including paid content do to the integrity of search rankings? If you’re paying to index content, you’d want to make sure it was delivered enough to justify the purchase, right?
- As Twitter data makes its way into direct search results and also starts influencing ranking signals, SEO success will become inextricably linked to Twitter success (a practice that Justin calls SSO). Should we expect that Ashton Kutcher will become the king of SEO as he current sits atop the largest twitter following? If so, what impact will that have on his relationships?
As we each grow our own social influence through creating content on our blogs, Facebook, Twitter and creating a following within those channels; are we seeing the growth of social capital as a new means of wealth in modern day marketing? What are your thoughts?