Rumors continue to circulate about a Twitter/Google partnership which could shift social networking, but some say it could also drastically change search engine marketing.

According to Nielsen Online, as of February there were more than 7 million Twitter users in the U.S. alone – a 1,382 percent growth over the last year. But for a Google purchase or partnership, Twitter’s search ability may be more pertinent.

Greg Sterling from Sterling Market Intelligence told PCWorld last week that the ability to search in real time and to specifically mine user data may be the most intriguing thing for Google.

"Right now, it’s problematic using Twitter as an alternative search engine. There’s a lot of noisy results you get on Twitter’s search," Sterling told the magazine. "If you can remove some of the noise, it could be quite powerful."

It appears that Twitter also sees the importance of search as Wired magazine reports that the company will be placing its search function in the sidebar of users’ pages. While Twitter currently has a search function, it is at the bottom of the screen and perhaps not visible to many new Twitter users.

Twitter already seems to be on its way to creating a marketing aspect of the service with the release of last month which is sponsored by Microsoft and aggregates tweets from companies and marketers.