Twitter’s position as ‘the best’ search engine is on the decline. A month ago, I read blog posts about Twitter and Google competing to be the top search engine websites with real-time. But I think that we spoke too early.
Rick Astley topped the list of twitter trending topics when I checked my Twitter account a few days ago. When I clicked to see what was going on, I saw a stream full of spam tweets. The kind that lists the top 10 trending topics. I kept refreshing the page, but aside from the spam I only saw other confused tweets as to why Rick Astley was trending. Or just unrelated tweets that mentioned his name.
Google was my first stop. The first result that I saw after typing Rick Astley into the search box, was a news report explaining what was happening. The rumor of Rick Astley’s death was also spreading fast. The spammers on Twitter did not help either. They caused confusion.
Is Google still the most reliable search engine in terms of reliability? Were we merely fooling ourselves by thinking that an organic live stream of micro blogs would prove to be the ultimate search engine in real time? Were we too trusting of the person from whom we got the information in the first place?
I hope not. It would be ideal if Twitter could find a solution to these spammers’ constant interference in what could be an informative and healthy community. If they are not stopped, I fear that all of this Twitter mania will be a waste. We will no longer be able to search in real-time. Twitter is not a source of real-time search results for us.
What will Google Wave be doing? Will they come up with a clever solution to this issue? I hope so. If Google Wave lives up to its promises, it would be a shame to see it suffer the same fate as Twitter.
Maybe I’m just being overly dramatic. It’s not just trending topics, right? Spammers are always looking for the gold. You can search for anything else, as long as it is pure tweets from real people. That’s a good thing. The trending topics section, however, is far too valuable to allow spammers to abuse it. We will eventually ignore it because of all the nonsense.