If news organizations or journalists are still looking for a reason to devote resources to social media, Microsoft’s deal with Twitter shows how an investment in social media could return better search engine results.
Let’s take U2’s streamed concert at the Rose Bowl for an example. Using Bing’s twitter search to look for Rose Bowl brings up four recent tweets and a list of “Top links shared in Tweets about Rose Bowl.” I won’t go into the Bing search algorithm, its results, or the fact that they are very different from results for the same query on TweetMeme, Twazzup or OneRiot.
The point is that a major search engine is now using information from Twitter to rank its listings. Sure, its sectioned off on the site right now, but if that section proves to return good results, why wouldn’t Microsoft consider integrating “Twitter juice” (the value that Twitter gives to a site) into their main search results?
We all know that search engines drive traffic to “newspaper” sites and blogs. If those engines start integrating data from social networks into their main search results, it behooves every news organization and blogger to be active in social media if they hope to increase their rankings in search engines. Invest the time and get better search rankings in return.
Oh yeah, in case you missed it, Google is next.