Earlier this week, Google made a massive push into realtime search, taking advantage of its newly gained access to Twitter’s firehose of data, as well as realtime feeds from Facebook, MySpace and others. You can see these realtime results for every search you do by selecting the Updates option, Bing is also in the realtime race.
So what’s Yahoo’s less-than-realtime response three days later? A limp-wristed addition of selective Twitter results to its main search engine. Already, Yahoo shows Twitter results in its News search for breaking news and trending topics. Today, it is adding Twitter results to its main search page, but only for trending search terms. So will not always see it, if ever.
If you are going to deliver a new search option, it should be consistently available, even if it’s not highlighted at the top of the page. Why doesn’t Yahoo simply turn this feature on for all searches? Could it be because it doesn’t have access to Twitter’s full firehose of Tweets like Google and Bing do? They’d have to license that data, and maybe it’s too expensive for Yahoo. So what Yahoo ends doing is a workaround for a manageable subset of Tweets. If I am looking for realtime results, I want them for everything, not just what everybody is already searching for.
Hopefully, this is just a small step towards a bigger goal for Yahoo, with a more robust realtime search offering coming soon. But it does feel like their hardly even trying.