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Google Real Time Search

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
8 December 2009

Google Live Search

Like London buses Google announcements are coming thick and fast these days following a realtively quiet development period. Obviously lots has been going on behind the scenes. At the end of last week we saw the quiet launch of personalised search and yesterday saw the loudly heralded announcement of real time search by Google.  Interesting they should choose to do it this was as for me personalised search has a lot more juice in it than its more flashy cousin real time search, but more on that later.

Before looking into what real time search has to offer I think a  couple of really good points were made by Amit Singhal of Google who was launching this product. Firstly they stressed that the key to real time search is relevancy. They have built a load of new technology behind the scenes to enable them to deliver only relevant results. So lightweight tweets will not cut it for example. Also, they are confident that they are able to cut out any spam before it hits ‘live’ search.

Live Search Feeds

Live search will appear ‘randomly’, that is linked mainly to trending topics and is being rolled out over the next few days. When it does appear (look out for the latest results feature) you can pause the live feed and then restart it when you choose. Again Google stress that only ‘high quality’ information will be used. You cannot remove this feature.

As searchengineland says ‘If Google sees a spike in information on a certain topic, along with queries on a particular topic, then it assumes there’s a real time situation happening — very simplified!

What is expected to feature in the live format is:

* Tweets from Twitter
* Content from Google News
* Content from Google Blog Search
* Newly created web pages
* Freshly updated web pages
* FriendFeed update
* Jaiku updates
* Identi.ca updates
* TwitArmy updates

And I expect more will be added as they have tied up deals with facebook and myspace. And as Singhal said “I would not be surprised if you start seeing far more of an emphasis on original tweets in our search.” So a bit of a clue as to what to expect there.

You can also select via the Google navigation ‘All Results’ an ‘update’ feature which allows you to refine the searches to bring up much more microblogged content as opposed to news and updated web pages.

Live Search Opportunity

So what can you do to get your information into real time search? Well, the main thing is having the ability to provide unique relevant information in a timley fashion, whether through twitter, news, site or blog. And being able to respond to ‘trending topics’, so spotting opportunities, is also key.

Quite how people searching are going to react to this unknown. A lot will depend on the relevancy that Google is able to deliver.

As stated above, personalised search recevied very little fanfare but this is more likely to impact on users in a much more subtle way than real time search.

But either way these are excting times and do present new ways to get your message and engage  people using search engines.

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