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Twitter now second only to Google in terms of search volumes

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
9 July 2010

12424411587xlD9ZAccording to Twitter co-founded Biz Stone, while speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week, Twitter is now handling over 800 million search queries every single day, or 24 billion search queries per month. This makes it second only to Google, who handle 88 billion each month – and absolutely trounces Bing (4.1 billion) and Yahoo (9.1 billion). Note: I can’t find the stats for YouTube, so Twitter might actually be third – but either way, it’s impressive!

As reported in the Telegraph, this makes Twitter the fastest growing search engine at present – a pretty impressive feat for a site that isn’t *actually* a search engine in the main. Considering the guys at Twitter have only in the past few months rolled out any kind of attempt at monetising this functionality, it shows what a powerful weapon they have in their hands, and the sort of money they might hope to make if they ever get to Google-scale monetization.

One thing the Telegraph didn’t pick up on though, is the METHOD of a large number of these searches – indeed, this information isn’t obviously available. The reason I mention it though is that I would imagine a large number of what Twitter is counting as ‘searches’ are derived from the trending topics, as opposed to people actually typing in a search query.

Whenever a user clicks on a trending topic, either from the right hand ‘trending topics’ list or from within another user’s tweet, this opens up the Twitter search results. I’d argue that these aren’t actually ‘searches’ in the sense that the other search engines classify that, but I suppose it’s all relative.

Regardless of the method of the search, it’s clear that Twitter’s star is still on the rise in a massive way. Whether they can turn this growth in to the goldmine that their older competitors have is another question entirely, but I for one will be watching with eager anticipation.

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