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Tweets upon Tweets

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Yahoo! has answered Google's brand new "real-time" search interface, adding, yes, Tweets to the primary results that turn up when you run a query on its lame duck search engine.

"Starting today, you will see recent tweets directly integrated on the Web search result page when you search for buzzy topics," Yahooligans Ivan Davtchev and Shiv Ramamurthi wrote on the official Yahoo! search blog.

Results pages already offer a Yahoo! News shortcut that links to ostensibly relevant Tweets, but now they're linking straight to Tweets deems less newsy. "You can still see relevant tweets about the most popular topics in the news in the expanded Yahoo! News shortcut with Twitter, which combines news articles, images, videos, and tweets," the post continues.

"[But] now, you can see tweets about some of the less popular buzzing topics directly in the search results, usually at the bottom of the page, and you may see those tweets less frequently."

Unlike Google and Microsoft, Yahoo! is not paying Twitter for direct access to its "Firehose" of Web2.0rhea. It's using the public Twitter API. Yahoo! tells us this will not effect Tweet freshness. "There isn’t a significant difference in time delay between Firehose and public APIs," Yahoo! said in an email. "The only difference is the amount of data available – access to the Twitter Firehose provides more data, which could lead to even better relevance. However, a well designed algorithm would perform well in either case, which is what allows us to pick relevant tweets."

In its blog post, the company says the news service is designed to provide access to older as well as newer Tweets. "We continuously keep track of queries searched on Yahoo!, and when there is a spike in interest in a topic, our search algorithm selects relevant tweets to show on the search results page, either as a part of the Yahoo! News shortcut or in a Twitter section," the post says.

"The age of the tweets will vary - some will be a minute old, while others may be hours old. Our goal is to feature interesting Twitter content that is relevant to your query and complements the other results you find on the search page."

Like Yahoo!, Google is integrating Twitter results into its main results page. Microsoft, however, displays them on a separate page. ®

Update: This story has been updated with comment from Yahoo!

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