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Google & Microsoft Pay Twitter to Index Twitter

 2:13 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

While widely speculated at the time, confirmation from business week concludes that Twitter did indeed get Google and Microsoft to pay for the right to index it's website. This appears to be the first time in history that two major search engines have paid for the right to index a website:


In exchange for making short blogs, known as tweets, searchable on Google, Twitter will receive about $15 million, the two people say, adding that the Microsoft partnership is worth about $10 million. "The deals were huge," says one. "With two scoops of the pen, a lot of revenue came in."

The public needs to know that Google and MS are willing to pay websites for indexing (even if it is a one-off at this time). The "we don't pay for content" mantra of Google is now shattered.

Can you think of another time when google has paid to index a site?



 9:26 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes - that looks new. I just searched on james cameron and I'm getting a box with all twitter results.

In fact, I'm getting scrolling results as they happen. 'latest update, 1 minute ago'.

Useless crap. Google SERPS are starting to look like the car that homer simpson built.


 9:52 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

How is Bing using the tweets?


 10:02 pm on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Useless crap. Google SERPS are starting to look like the car that homer simpson built.

Realtime search is just good for building historical data ... and profiling. It's only good for realtime news from other media sources.

Search has been "good enough" for 6 years now, and now it's just starting to be "too good". I try not to post about SE data much any more because I'd probably sound like a nutty privacy advocate if I did.

Twitter will, however, help both engines determine searcher intent through data profiling, which will lead to better personalized results, ad quality, and revenue for the borgs.


 1:00 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I see another opportunity, would it be possible to do in robots.txt? :)

User-agent: GoogleBot
Disallow: {$comeBackinaWeek} // since you don't pay me, come back in a week when the content isn't fresh any more //

User-agent: MSNBot
Disallow: // you pay me, so you can index it now //


 2:10 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I expect that when the time comes for all sites to get paid for indexing I will receive a lump sum payment of around .03 cents


 5:18 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Probably Twitter might be getting paid not for the content, but for the database/profiles and all the information of its users so Search engines can use them for better personalized results....


 5:21 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

-Only G & MS-Who could only verify the truth of such news. If for indexing is payable why then for SEO are all paying for submission the sites for SE indexing? Some thing missing!
-Making money is a wide matter. Who pays for what is difficult either.
-RM will be paid by G one day if he is strict to he said.


 5:50 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I did the James Cameron search too. Yup, 4th result, automatically scrolls and updates.

Personally I don't like tweets as part of the results. But heck, I use the search engine to find quality information articles, not tiny snippets of text with no "meat"...

I'd like to turn off that feature, how do I do that? Oh, that's right I can't personalize *my* search results even though we have "personalized search" ;-)

Then again, I'd be OK if G wanted to pay me to put my content 4th in the results LOL.


 6:12 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I do not know what will we get when we go for the google alerts with twitter results also showing on google serps


 7:41 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ohhh ... where internet goes ? Anybody wants to see what somebody is doing on toilet right now ?! I personally hate sites like twitter, it adds no value to web at all. And if I were google I would never pay to index such crap and add this to index.


 9:31 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Shall I be the first one to say this is just Google being smart? Yea, I shall.

Google isn't paying for content. Google is paying to raise the bar, by paying for content they make it harder for a new search engine to startup. A new search engine would have to pay millions to be able to offer the same content as Google offers.

Google pays for content, just so other search engines are expected to pay for content as well. They probably hope that a lot of big websites will start asking some sort of payment for their content, which will make sure a new search engine will always have less content than Google.

We're just being played.


 9:56 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Kinda conflicts with googles "open attitude" eh? [webmasterworld.com...]

But it shows in a small way, google is still a media follower - rather than a ruler.


 11:49 am on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd back off on Google a bit, this is Microsoft being aggressive again. MS is openly paying sites to NOT allow themselves to be listed in Google, Google is left with no choice but to pay for the same rights.

This isn't going to lead to a healthier internet, it also makes one wonder if sites in which right to index is purchased will be given preferential treatment as well. THANKFULLY i'm not seeing stupid tweets getting top 10 for much.


 12:09 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I searched for "UK snow" on Google recently and got a nice helpful Twitter box showing me what people were saying and where they were stuck. So the user experience can be positive. I prefer Google's display to the display on Twitter search.

And as for Google and MS paying for content, it is interesting and I'd say kudos for Twitter for creating a service that generates so much info that the search engines are willing to fork out for. However it's a bit different to the SE's paying for content from a newspaper or website - they're paying for the technical ability to extract massive amounts of data constantly at high speed. It's a technical integration project - that's all. Google's been spidering Twitter for ages without paying: their money just makes it more efficient, relevant and real time.

So I don't see it as a "moral" or "ethical" debate.


 2:21 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

what this brings another step closer is the divided net. We'll soon have the google net and the MS net.

"CAn't find it!"

"oh, go and try on microsoft, it's probably there."

sounds over-dramatic, eh? Not by a long shot.


 3:36 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

The display of Tweets via RTS is just the surface of it all. Google and Microsoft both have the computing power to do quite a bit with that data. I'm expecting to see Social Media monitoring tools to come from both in the very near future. Google will probably be first to market and it will all be part of GA, they have the upper hand in this instance, as usual.


 7:51 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

If it's personalized search let me turn on or off tweets.


 10:17 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)


Personally I don't like tweets as part of the results. But heck, I use the search engine to find quality information articles, not tiny snippets of text with no "meat"...

I thought about what you said there for a while. Had a coffee and all.....

I do not agree with what you just said. (I try not to be so categorical here in WebmasterWorld, basically because there are a lot of clever and very experienced boys and girls here). But I do categorically disagree with what I have quoted you on.

Factors that are important:

type of search.
I searched for James Cameron, and that has to be a trending search these days.

intention of search.
well I was actaully looking into the whole cameron avatar thing a little. And the results from my twitter account were googd. People I know or respect and there views.

My experience was a positive one.


 11:50 pm on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

What Microsoft and Google get on this deal is real time access to what millions of people are supposedly doing now. The trends, etc. Personal data worth its weight in gold. I don't think they're paying for web content so much as they're paying for personal data. Twitter's content is not very high quality, as most have noted.

Get this: with the IP's + user agent from where people are updating their tweets Google can cross that data with what you're doing on the share of the WWW they already monitor.

You'll see ads on unrelated sites, matched precisely to your recent twits.


 11:08 am on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Twitters content quality is a reflecion of the people you follow.

If your twitter content is poor, try clean your follower list.


 5:06 pm on Dec 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Google will of course benefit from people spending less time on Twitter and more time within the Google SERPS, opposite their Adwords ads."

"Tweeters sing about Elvis spotted piloting a Cardasian vehicle around Mars. Google serps now start showing results / ads for 50's records, Trekkie memorabilia and chocolate bars."

Certainly...Google will have to filter through the chatter to find theme/topic relevancy and then display the tweets in such a way as to maximize their adwords revenue...etc..

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