In an effort to continue to expand its role on the Web, popular link shortening service Bit.ly just launched a new beta search platform and "reputation monitoring service."
The company will be using information gathered over time by crawling every URL that it has shortened to check each one's potential to go viral. This allows the company to provide a look at trending content and, more impressively, to predict the future by declaring that content which is going to trend through user search.
According to a blog post by the company, "Instead of pagerank we're using a different filter -- for any given search query, we display the stories that we predict will get the most attention over the next 24 hours. Then we use bitly's analytics to refine our predictions in realtime."
"Many pages are so new, so fresh, that they don't have any pagerank," says the company on its blog. "Often [stories] reach a broad audience on social media before more conventionally-authoritative newsgatherers amplify their messages."This is all a part of the company's growing realtime social search initiative.
The idea of this realtime search effort is to act as an "early-warning system" to project upcoming swings in what users are saying about specific brands, which is what sets it apart from traditional clipping or trending engines.
The current beta version is only available for the services paying Enterprise customers.