Twitter Feeds Worth $11 Billion A Year To Search Giants, Says Study

Search giants such as Google and Microsoft could generate revenues of $30 million per day by selling advertisements that point directly to tweets and Facebook status updates, says new research from Penn University.

The researchers looked at the value of displaying ads along these real-time search results, and determined that that harnessing this technology could be worth around $10.9 billion annually.

To put this into perspective, Google currently generates around $23 billion per year in revenues from its search-powered AdWords business.

Penn State researchers examined six months of real-time search queries from the database of Collecta, a real-time search engine. After separating duplicate searches to find unique search terms, researchers determined the value of the real-time search terms by using Google Adwords Traffic Estimator. This calculator estimates how valuable ads might be. More commonly used search terms typically are more expensive for advertisers.

Of around one million total queries, researchers determined that 297,392, or 30 percent, were unique queries. About 52 percent of the unique searches had economic value. If the searches were presented on a Google search results page, the researchers estimated people would click the resulting ads generated by the search more than 6.4 million times a day and generate approximately $33,023,320 in revenue from those clicks.

“Real-time content is particularly interesting because it’s a window into a person’s world at a particular moment in time,” said Jim Jansen, Penn State’s associate professor of information sciences and technology. “What we wanted to determine is if real-time search could be monetized. This type of content typically occurs on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and is usually temporal in nature. It’s immediate and tells people what’s going on right now.”

“Both the major search engines and new search firms are entering the marketplace providing technologies for searching real-time content,” says Jansen. “The question is, how much is this search traffic worth? To date, there had been no published economic valuation of this search traffic.”

The Penn team classified real-time content as short messages – about the length of a sentence – alongside links to external websites. Both Google and Bing include real-time results on their search pages.

According to Jansen, the number of tweets being submitted to Twitter has increased by over a thousand per cent in a year, and this trend is expected to continue to rise.

“This would indicate that efforts to design advertising platforms for real time search may be fruitful,” he says.

(Source: International Business Times.)