Google recently announced some little news about search: Real Time Searching is all the name suggests. In search results for any term, you can see new content being added in real time by clicking the “see latest results” link.
Beware of this new function: it could be very addictive to watch the latest Twitter, Facebook, and blog updates that relate to your search term. Given ’tis the season, I decided to test drive real time search by searching for anything and everything related to Christmas.
After clicking on “Latest” a new search result page opened up that continuously updated itself with the latest posts on twitter and around the internet.
Real time search results are presented in a dynamic, scrolling view and it is supposed to be integrated into the top section of your regular search results. When I did my search just today, that wasn’t the case yet, but it is just a matter of time before you don’t actually have to click the “latest” results link to see the dynamic feed of results.
Given that Google’s Real Time Search is pretty similar to Twitter search on Bing, PC World has compared the two real time search functions. The value of either for your search productivity is still up in the air though.
Is Real Time Search really useful?
Whether or not real time search is very useful will be proven over time, no pun intended. I’m also curious to see what you think in the comments, so don’t be shy! However, from my first impressions it seems that real time search results pull a lot of twitter updates, and fewer relevant blog posts. Given that people Tweet more than they blog, or rather more people Tweet than blog, this makes logical sense. However, I don’t think stranger’s Tweets are always going to be very useful for me, unless they point to a relevant article on the internet.
Considering the nature of real time search results, I imagine it will be very useful for very hot topics and discussions. Just after a major news story breaks, real time search results can give a good view of people’s sentiment on the topic. It will then also pull down far more blog posts, given that the volume of new blog posts is highest right after a big story breaks. For more mundane topics, like Christmas, I am doubtful it will make my (search) life any easier. What do you think?