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Yahoo is using Twitter to surface timely and relevant news stories, images and videos starting today.

As news organizations pile into the microblogging service and as shared links and retweets become a decent metric of what’s interesting, the web’s biggest search destinations are incorporating Twitter. (Microsoft and Google both signed data-sharing deals with Twitter last month.)

What’s unique about Yahoo’s approach is that they haven’t built a separate real-time search engine outside of their primary search as Bing has done. They’ve actually brought that content into their main search results.

“‘This is the first time we’ve actually integrated Twitter directly into the search experience,” said Larry Cornett, the vice president of consumer products for Yahoo! Search. “This is an algorithm we’ve developed internally that uses the topic, studies how it’s being shared and who is tweeting it. We want to have the most relevant tweets.”

When you search for a timely topic, it will show news, photo and video results in a tabbed format at the top of the page. There’s a fourth tab too, and that’s for content that has been shared on Twitter’s network. Yahoo’s team is working with Twitter’s public application programming interface.

Cornett couldn’t say whether they’ll also get special access to the data stream Microsoft secured in its deal with Twitter last month. (Microsoft and Yahoo also have their own deal, allowing the Bing search engine to power Yahoo’s Web search.)

The second point that’s interesting is that this effort has nothing to do with Yahoo’s recent experiments with real-time search startup OneRiot. Yahoo has built this all in-house. So it appears they’re not outsourcing real-time search entirely to other smaller startups as has been previously reported elsewhere. Yahoo also says there is no formal agreement with OneRiot at this point in time.

The OneRiot arrangement is a test-run that lets the startup’s search results show up in certain Yahoo queries if the company thinks they might be relevant to the user. (OneRiot also surfaces widely shared content on Twitter’s network.)

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