Google Already Knows What You’re Thinking

April 5, 2009
51 Views

An unsubstantiated assertion I’ve seen repeatedly over the last months is that Google needs to acquire Twitter because Twitter knows what is happening (or what we’re thinking about) now, while Google can only look backwards. The latest version I’ve seen of this argument is from Jeff Jarvis’s post today, entitled “Why Google should want Twitter: Currency“:

Google isn’t good at currency. It needs content to ferment; it needs links and clicks to collect so PageRank can determine its value.

I grant that PageRank isn’t good at currency. But Google doesn’t need to perform link analysis to know what people are thinking about in real time. Google can simply look at its logs to determine what people are searching for–and, in particular, which search terms and phrases are appearing with statistically significant frequency. And Google’s search volume is much higher (and more representative of the online population) than Twitter’s update and search traffic combined.

To be clear, you and I can’t perform that analysis using the tools Google makes available to the general public. But Google can–and I don’t see an

An unsubstantiated assertion I’ve seen repeatedly over the last months is that Google needs to acquire Twitter because Twitter knows what is happening (or what we’re thinking about) now, while Google can only look backwards. The latest version I’ve seen of this argument is from Jeff Jarvis’s post today, entitled “Why Google should want Twitter: Currency“:

Google isn’t good at currency. It needs content to ferment; it needs links and clicks to collect so PageRank can determine its value.

I grant that PageRank isn’t good at currency. But Google doesn’t need to perform link analysis to know what people are thinking about in real time. Google can simply look at its logs to determine what people are searching for–and, in particular, which search terms and phrases are appearing with statistically significant frequency. And Google’s search volume is much higher (and more representative of the online population) than Twitter’s update and search traffic combined.

To be clear, you and I can’t perform that analysis using the tools Google makes available to the general public. But Google can–and I don’t see any reason, other than the fear of raising public concerns about privacy, that Google can’t exploit this data themselves.

What is different about Twitter is that it *does* make the data available to the general public. Twitter exposes Trends as part of its own offering, but it also enables services like Tweetmeme to perform their own analyses to track the hot stories in near-real time. But Google could do something similar and probably better if it wanted to.

I’ve said this before: Twitter is a community (a social network if you prefer), not a search engine. And, if there’s a good reason for Google to entertain acquiring Twitter, it’s probably that Google has a less than stellar track record when it comes to community. But let’s not delude ourselves to think that Google needs Twitter to know what’s on our minds now. They already know.

Link to original post

You may be interested

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups
Big Data
298 shares2,887 views
Big Data
298 shares2,887 views

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups

Ryan Kh - July 20, 2017

The first version of SAP Hana was released in 2010, before Hadoop and other big data extraction tools were introduced.…

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion
Data Management
37 views
Data Management
37 views

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion

Manish Bhickta - July 20, 2017

Physical Data destruction techniques are efficient enough to destroy data, but they can never be considered eco-friendly. On the other…

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan
Data Management
69 shares619 views
Data Management
69 shares619 views

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan

GloriaKopp - July 20, 2017

Part of business planning is arranging how data will be used in the development of a project. This is why…