Google is trying to make search more of a go-to destination for breaking news and live events — moving directly onto Twitter Inc.’s turf.
In recent years, Google has placed a carousel of links to news sites at the top of search results for certain events such as the recent negotiations in the U.S. Senate over the debt limit. The company is working on plans to showcase more relevant data and features in search on a range of timely breaking news topics, such as big-ticket sports games, awards shows and natural disasters, the company confirmed.
That’s a field where Twitter has excelled, despite competing efforts from Google and Facebook Inc. Google recognized this several year ago. In 2015, it cut a deal with Twitter to run tweets at the top of search results for newsy topics.
The Information earlier reported Google’s move, which is called Big Moments inside the company. Still, the effort is an experiment and Google isn’t saying how it may affect the way tweets are displayed in searches of breaking news events.
After the coronavirus pandemic struck in early 2020, Google overhauled its search results for issues around Covid-19 to make visuals and data from medical authorities more prominent, rather than its standard web links. That strategy inspired internal efforts to bring a similar approach to other news topics, according to a Google spokesperson.
“We are continually experimenting with ways to ensure that people who come to Google can find the most authoritative and up to date information when they need it,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Any feature or improvement to our systems goes through a rigorous testing and evaluation process to ensure it delivers value to people.”
Even though Google has spent years curating news results in search, the company has argued repeatedly that it should be treated as a web platform, not a publisher.
Google’s spokesperson wouldn’t comment on its partnership with Twitter. A Twitter spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.