Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Topsy Says Its Google+ Search Is Better Than Google’s

The real-time search engine Topsy, which has until now indexed Twitter, today adds public Google+ posts.

In what it says is an improvement on Google’s newly added Google+ search feature, Topsy says it ranks search results by trying to determine which users and posts are most globally and recently relevant for the query, rather than whether a user is close to or within the searcher’s Google+ network.

Google isn’t handing out much access to Google+ to developers yet, so Topsy is crawling the site’s public posts. That’s different from how Topsy indexes Twitter, which is through an agreement to use the official Firehose of all user tweets.

It’s unclear how many people are using Google+ these days, though user registrations seem to have ballooned up to at least the 50 million mark. According to Topsy’s observations, the number of public posts and comments on Google+ had grown to two million per day as of last week, up from 200,000 when it opened to the general public.

It should be possible to use Topsy search to get a better idea of how big Google+ is — or at least how big public behavior on the site is. For instance, Topsy execs told me Google+ was already getting 100,000 videos posted per week, compared to 200,000 posted on Twitter. After I mentioned how much it seems Google+ people like to bitch about Facebook, they found 82,000 mentions of Facebook on the site in the previous day.

Those numbers change every day, but now that Topsy’s Google+ search is open to the public, users can check for themselves.

Topsy has worked on, but never released, search for public Facebook posts, which it said Facebook makes difficult by throttling API access and other means. The search start-up might next release search for sites like Quora or blogs, the execs said.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald