We’re sorry to hear about the end of Collecta’s realtime search offering. Following soon after Crowdeye shut down their search services, and OneRiot transferred their search customers to Topsy, this news has led to some speculation that realtime search is not a market full of opportunity.
At Topsy, we believe that reports of the death of realtime search have been greatly exaggerated. The Internet is full of dead or dying web search engines, but nobody says there’s no opportunity in web search, when done right. We believe it’s the same for realtime / social search.
Topsy has had a very different approach from other realtime startups from day one. We built completely new, patented technology in-house from the ground up and we deployed and operated our own servers, with both of these efforts enabling us to efficiently scale. Topsy’s approach has also been different from traditional search engines such as Google and Bing, which, as Danny Sullivan’s investigation showed, do not use realtime social signal to rank web search results.
While Google and Bing (and Twitter Search) do let you search through realtime updates, Topsy has a bigger searchable index of realtime social updates, and unlike other search providers, Topsy shows realtime results ranked by relevance & influence. Google and Bing rank web search results by relevance, allowing people to use their services to find quality content; but they don’t rank realtime search results. Realtime results without proper ranking & filtering mechanisms don’t deliver a lot of value to consumers. Such ranking is hard, and at Topsy we’ve spent years of development to make it work right.
As a result, Topsy is thriving – we’ll serve half a billion queries this month (mostly through our API), and this figure will continue to increase as more consumers, publishers and marketers capitalize upon the value of realtime search results.