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Oct. 21, 2009, 6:48 p.m. EDT · Recommend · Post:

Microsoft, Google win search deals with Twitter
Making search engines 'real time'; Microsoft nabs Facebook data as wellExplore related topics
Computer Software Microsoft Corporation Google Inc Yahoo! Inc Story Quotes Comments Screener Alert Email Print ShareBy John Letzing, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. on Wednesday said they have each signed deals that will make content from Twitter Inc. available on their search services, as they strive to fill them with more up-to-date information.

Microsoft's senior vice president for its online audience business, Yusuf Mehdi, said during a technology conference in San Francisco Wednesday morning that under the terms of the deal Microsoft will include posts, or so-called tweets made on Twitter in its Bing search engine.

Mehdi described the Twitter partnership as "a big deal that we've been working on for a long time," and said that content from Twitter would become available on Bing later in the day.

Mehdi added that Microsoft has reached a separate, but similar deal with social networking service Facebook Inc. that involves "public information data posts." Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook in 2007, in exchange for a 1.6% stake.

Google has also reached its own deal "with Twitter to include their updates in our search results," vice president of search products and user experience Marissa Mayer wrote in a post on a company Website late Wednesday.

"We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months," Mayer wrote.

The deals with Twitter are seen as a potential boon for Microsoft /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 26.24, -0.34, -1.28%) and Google, the Mountain View-Calif.-based search giant, as they seek to gain larger audiences for their search services.

The deals aim to provide "real time" information being posted on the microblogging service, including references to current news stories and other information. Both Microsoft and Google /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 551.47, +0.37, +0.07%) have sought to increase the real-time capability of their search engines.

Microsoft online services group President Qi Lu, also speaking at the San Francisco conference, declined to disclose terms of the partnership with Twitter.

Google's Mayer also did not mention any specific terms.

Microsoft unveiled Bing, a revamped search engine, in May. Since then, it has helped the company to slowly gain some ground in the U.S. Internet search market.

However, Microsoft's market share remains below 10%, while Google has retained a more than 60% share, and Yahoo Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!yhoo/quotes/nls/yhoo (YHOO 17.50, -0.16, -0.91%) has struggled to maintain a 20% share.

Microsoft earlier this year agreed to an Internet search and advertising partnership with Yahoo. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft's technology will be used to power the search service on both Microsoft and Yahoo sites, and the companies will split the resulting advertising revenue. The partnership is currently being reviewed by antitrust regulators.

Yahoo aims to use the partnership to cut costs related to its search business, while Microsoft sees the deal as a means to create a more viable competitor to Google.

John Letzing is a MarketWatch reporter based in San Francisco.

Tags: bing, engine, google, internet, results, search, seo, serp, twitter

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