Facebook status updates to appear in Google
Google has begun indexing status updates from Facebook pages and including them in its real-time search results.
The integration follows hot on the heels of the news last week that the search engine had begun indexing MySpace users’ updates. Google has been integrating tweets from Twitter since the end of last year.
This is the first time Google has integrated any information from Facebook into its search results.
However, the information it is allowed to integrate is more limited than the deal the social network has in place with Microsoft’s Bing.
Google can only index status updates from Facebook pages – which are “for organisations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information to fans in an official, public manner”, according to the network’s own definition, and act more as marketing tools.
Bing, on the other hand, is able to index individuals’ status updates which are set to public.
The relationship between Facebook and Microsoft is closer because the technology giant is an investor in the social networking site and also powers the search on the site.
However, Facebook pages are becoming a bigger feature on the site – with more than three million active users presently on the site and a total of 5.3 billion fans.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, publicly said last year that no money changed hands with either Bing or Google when agreeing the respective indexing deals.
During 2009 the increasing popularity of Twitter started to make the search engines seem slow and unable to serve the latest updates on fast-moving stories in real-time.
During last summer's protests in Iran, for example, a Google search on the country delivered Iran’s Wikipedia entry or a recent news article about the clashes.
However, a search on Twitter showed the latest news from the people on the streets of Tehran as events unfolded.
This led to both Google and Microsoft’s Bing partnering with Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, in order to make their searches more timely and relevant.
Yesterday the news emerged that Yahoo had also signed a deal with Twitter, which not only takes in search, but also a deeper integration of the microblogging service’s tools.