According to a leading Google engineer, Google has adapted and developed new filters in their algorithms so that real time updates, like twitter, can all be logged and then shown in your relevant search results.

Last month Google released real-time technology for its search engine, it allows searchers the ability to search and find up to date blogs posts and current news almost instantly. It used to take Google between 5 and 15 minutes to find and log new news, and with this human need to know everything as soon as it happens, that just wasn’t quick enough.

Twitter and Google have completed a major deal to now get immediate access to all their tweets, Bing have also done the same but Google claim to offer the best search results. Google also has a broader range of results, they also search and scan through headlines of the news, Facebook feeds, MySpace updates and other sources.

Back in March when the project was in Beta Google announced: “The Search team is working on a beta project that returns the most popular tweets for a query, rather than only the most recent tweets.”

Similar to Google’s PageRank technology, its tweet searches help find relevant web pages using its standard web search. With Google’s PageRank, Google decides how important a page is, depending on set words or phrases, by looking at the website’s link-structure. The higher the links to that page and the more pages linking to the people linking to you, the more significant the original page is.

Googles reference to ranking according to popularity suggests that the number of Retweets could be a factor. When you are using the case study of Twitter, then its all about following and followers. You obviously want to be followed by as many people as you can get, but it’s also about the quality of the people you follow.

By following people with fewer followers than you, you are giving them your reputation. The fact that you have a lot of followers means that if you follow someone with less followers, you deem them to be interesting and worth following. It’s certainly more than just a popularity contest.

“It is more than a popularity contest”, said Google’s Amit Singhal. ”One user following another in social media is analogous to one page linking to another on the Web. Both are a form of recommendation.

As high-quality pages link to another page on the Web, the quality of the linked-to page goes up. Likewise, in social media, as established users follow another user, the quality of the followed user goes up as well.”

As well as follower reputation Google also uses the following to rank tweets:

  1.  Hashtags – Hashtags are symbols that start with a # followed by a popular topic, for example #pmot. If a hashtag is included in a tweet, the tweet will show up in the real-time results when other Twitter users click the hashtag’s topic word elsewhere on the site.
  2.  Spam – Hashtags, however, are also often abused for spamming. The wrong hashtags can serve as a red flag that triggers Google’s spam filters.Amit Singhal didn’t go into the details but he said that Google modeled the hashtagging behavior in ways that tend to reduce the exposure of low-quality tweets.
  3.  Signal in the noise – There are thousands of tweets containing popular words such as “Obama”. To sort out the relevant tweets, Google looks for “signals in the noise” such as an increasing number of tweets that mention other words near mentions of “Obama”, for example “Cambridge police”. The tweets with the signals will be chosen for the real-time results.