Google Real-Time Tweet Search Identifies the Tech Elite

Credit: Heart of Oak

Want to know if you’re truly in the technology elite? Let Google tell you!

Try this:

  • Go to Google
  • Type in your name and the word ‘twitter’ (e.g. hutch carpenter twitter)
  • Look at the results

If you see real-time search results at the top of the page, congratulations! You’re a VIP! If not, well, sorry about that.

As was well covered a few months back, Google has made a deal with Twitter to get the real-time firehose of tweets. The actual rollout of tweets in search by Google is still a work in progress.

But I stumbled across this interesting test of Tech Worthiness in doing research for a different blog post. Some searches result in a display of real-time tweets at the top of the page. What’s interesting is who gets this treatment.

The graphic below shows the Google search results for six different people, along with the word “twitter”:

At the top, you can see four people who are elite. They have real-time tweet searches right at the top of the search results:

  • Louis Gray – uber chronicler of Silicon Valley and Web 2.0
  • Charlene Li – ex-Forrester analyst, co-author of Groundswell, founder of Altimeter Group
  • Chris Messina – leader of the OpenID effort
  • Jeff Bezos – founder, CEO of

Jeff Bezos is interesting. He does have a twitter account, but they’re all protected tweets.

At the bottom, you see a couple of the non-elite in the tech world. Ashton Kutcher, the first man to the moon…er…to reach 1 million followers on Twitter does not get the real-time tweet treatment from Google.

And alas, I am not part of the tech elite either.

So there you have it. Google has provided a handy test to see if you’re part of the Tech Elite. Go see how you’re doing.


Several people reported to me on Twitter that they could indeed see my real-time tweets on Google using ‘bhc3 twitter’. Now I had tried that last night and this morning, got nothing. Now they’re showing up, as you can see in the picture below, taken from my iPhone:

When I ran the “hutch carpenter” tweet search on Google last night, there were no results. But on Twitter search, there were a few results.

Ashton Kutcher is frequently mentioned on Twitter, but he doesn’t show up on Google real-time tweet searches. His handle, @aplusk, is also mentioned frequently. Google tweet searches on aplusk were not bringing up his real-time tweets last night. But they are this morning.

A search on ‘Chris Messina’ yields @chrismessina in the real-time tweet search results. So Google does some association there between the two terms.

And there remain people who get no results, no matter what. So the exact nature of this real-time search is a bit murky.

Yet it still appears that the known “tech elite” show up readily.


About Hutch Carpenter
Chief Scientist Revolution Credit

11 Responses to Google Real-Time Tweet Search Identifies the Tech Elite

  1. Rotkapchen says:

    Hutch: You missed sharing a critical visual cue (which isn’t quite evident just looking at your small clips). The reason you can tell that the tweetstream is being shared in the results is that they are visually ‘treated’ as a conversational balloon.

    If you don’t see balloons, you’ve got nothing to celebrate : )

  2. Rotkapchen says:

    But let me throw some water on your theory. If you look at the balloons, they are ‘mentions’ of those people, so it has nothing to do with being a twitter elite, it has to do with being ‘mentioned’ by name in the tweetstream.

    So back to the drawing board on conclusions that can be drawn from the treatment (that’s why I get paid the big bucks for data analytics : )

  3. Andrea Meyer says:

    Interestingly, when I searched @AndreaMeyer Twitter, I got the tweet I just sent Hutch at the top, which wasn’t a mention

  4. Pingback: Google Real-Time Tweet Search Identifies the Tech Elite | CloudAve

  5. Lia says:

    It looks like the balloon comes up with the latest tweets when you search for their twitter name along with the word “twitter”. But if you only search under the person’s name + twitter, it doesn’t come up with the balloons. Great observations though. Testing it out now.

  6. RayWaldo says:

    @Lia – you are correct that the key is to type the USERNAME – adding twitter is not necessary. Check mine by just typing raywaldo & the stream comes up with many other static links.

  7. DGentry says:

    I don’t get a real-time result for my name. I’ll not let it get me down, instead I shall endeavor to be more… elite? I wonder how I do that?

  8. Once again I have really enjoyed visiting your blog as it is always a pleasure and everytime I am learning more and more from you.

    Thank you for all the hard work you put into helping people.

    Mark McCulloch

  9. Pingback: Three Designs for Presenting Tweets in Search Results « I’m Not Actually a Geek

  10. Pingback: Three Designs for Presenting Tweets in Search Results | CloudAve

  11. Andrea says:

    fantastic twitter real time

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