Twitter is currently looking to crawl links included in tweets and index the content of these pages, which means that Twitter search will no longer just be a snapshot of a stream of tweets occurring in real-time.. but an archive of webpages that have been historically tweeted or mentioned by Twitter users.
This was mentioned by Santosh Jayaram, currently Twitter’s VP of Operations and formerly a the VP of search quality on Google. What’s interesting is that Twitter Search will develop a ‘reputation’ ranking system’:
When you do a search on a “trending” topic–a topic that is so big it gets its own link in the Twitter.com sidebar–Twitter will take into account the reputation of the person who wrote each tweet and rank the search results in part based on that.
Jayaram did not say precisely how reputation will be calculated; he indicated that engineers are still figuring that out. But this, again, will make Twitter Search more valuable.
Currently, if you search for a hot topic on Twitter, the results may be swamped by re-tweets and low-value content from hundreds or thousands of other users. A ranking system will help a great deal.