Twitter overtakes Bing and Yahoo in search

Thu 8th of July 2010, filed under SEO

Micro-blogging giant Twitter has reported a higher volume of searches than the combined total of queries on Yahoo and Bing this month, according to co-founder Biz Stone. Stone, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, announced Twitter was now taking 800 million searches per day. At over 24 billion requests per month, user queries on site now surpasses the traffic of Bing and Yahoo combined; the search companies report around four billion and nine billion queries per month respectively.

The figures mark Twitter out as the new fastest growing search engine since the launch of Bing in 2009. Last year, a study by Nielson showed Bing had grown by 22 per cent. In comparison, Twitter has reported a 33 per cent rise in the number of user searches, pushing it ahead of Bing in terms of growth speed.

While it may have overtaken Bing and Yahoo, Twitter still has some way to go to match the number of searches being registered by Google. Indeed, the social networking sit?s search volume is currently equal to roughly 27 per cent of Googl?s; the search engine giant takes 88 billion queries per month.

Search engine or social networking site?

While Googl?s 88 billion search queries may to dwarf Twitte?s 24 billion, the search traffic of Twitter is still a respectable figure considering that search is not intended as the social network's primary function. It is this distinction between social networking site and search engine, however, that is leading some experts to dismiss Twitte?s search figures as irrelevant, claiming the site cannot be called a traditional search engine.

One of the main reasons Twitter may not stand up to more conventional search engines is the time limit placed on news. While it is frequently heralded as an ideal source for real-time news, older stories which are no longer being discussed via the service cannot be accessed.

Meanwhile, in what could be an attempt to regain some hold over the search engine market, Yahoo has launched a news blog called The Upshot. Based around search engine optimisation tools such as search analytics, the blog will identify and cover the news stories most searched by Yahoo users in an attempt to provide customers with news that is most relevant and interesting to them.

"This idea of creating content in response to audience insight and audience needs is one component of the strategy. But it is a big component," said Vice President James A. Pitarro.

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