As Yahoo, Google Integrate Twitter Search, Can Microsoft Be Far Behind?

The Yahoo Search Blog on Thursday reported that the company has expanded its Yahoo! News shortcut with Twitter to provide a separate feed of Twitter "tweets" after the regular search results.

The new expanded search capability comes on the heels of news that Google is adding search results from Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as from news sites and blogs, in real time.

The new Google Search Appliance can also now search Twitter tweets in real time as well.

With the new Yahoo search capability, users who search for "buzzy" topics using the Yahoo tools will also see recent Twitter tweets related to the topic integrated on the Web search result page.

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According to Yahoo, those tweets might be related to a current news event, or to a popular product or shopping deal.

Yahoo determines which topics to go through the Twitter search by keeping track of search queries.

"When there is a spike in interest in a topic, our search algorithm selects relevant tweets to show on the search results page, either as a part of the Yahoo! News shortcut or in a Twitter section," wrote Ivan Davtchev, product lead for Web search relevance at Yahoo, and Shiv Ramamurthi, principle software engineer at Yahoo, in the blog.

The expanded Twitter search capability from Yahoo could also be good news for Microsoft.

While the blog did not mention whether Microsoft will also be able to take advantage of the new search capabilities, it seems a likely happening given the long-term search technology sharing agreement Yahoo and Microsoft finalized earlier this month.