Turns out Twitter has been a little sneaky today. With no word from the official Twitter Blog, it looks like the microblogging service is slowly and quietly rolling out two new features to its search functionality: "Top News" and "Top People."
This afternoon, GigaOm reported that, for certain lucky users, Twitter.com now includes a "Top News" section at the top of search results. These "Top News" results highlight relevant, timely news articles about the topic being searched.
In addition, for certain users, Twitter.com's search function now also includes a “Top People” window that highlights Twitter users who correspond with specific search queries. So, for instance, a search for "obama" conducted using Twitter.com's search function, would show something like this:
It's pretty obvious that these new features have been added to make it easier for users to locate relevant and more timely content through their Twitter.com searches.
There has yet to be an official announcement from Twitter about the launch of these new features and when they'll be available to all users, but marketers should be aware that they're coming.
We don't yet know how Twitter is determining which articles to feature in its top news section, and they don't appear to be tweets, but once we do know, marketers should understand if and how they can leverage it to get their content in front of more Twitter searchers.
In any event, the fact that Twitter is now featuring top news in its search results emphasizes more of a focus on search. As marketers, we must be cognizant of this trend, and make sure our all pieces of content we create -- yes, even our tweets -- are optimized with appropriate keywords that are relevant for our business. Are you putting enough of a focus on search engine optimized content?