A month ago, Google added real-time search results in the form of Tweets from Twitter and other real-time search related sources. Yesterday at Search Engine Land I covered an interview with Amit Singhal of Google via Technology Review. The interview explains how Google ranks those real-time search results - on some level.
Want to rank high in those Google real-time results? It seems like all you need is a lot of followers and you should be set.
From the interview:
"One user following another in social media is analogous to one page linking to another on the Web. Both are a form of recommendation," Singhal says. "As high-quality pages link to another page on the Web, the quality of the linked-to page goes up. Likewise, in social media, as established users follow another user, the quality of the followed user goes up as well."
Obviously, Google needs to figure out the value of the followers of followers, but that shouldn't be too hard in this equation.
Another interesting point was in regards to the use of hashtags in Tweets. The interview wrote that hashtags may "serve as red flags to lower tweet quality and attract spam-like content."
Of course, this does not mean anything you Tweet will show up in Google's search results. For that, they need to be trending topics, and a good way to see what is trending is to look at Google Trends.
Honestly, there are some interesting thoughts in the comments on my post at Search Engine Land.