Google Busy Changing the World Again… or at least their Results Pages

by Admin

15 Dec
 None    Search Engines

by Charlotte Bourne 

by Charlotte Bourne

To say Google has been busy would be an understatement – there’s been over 30 new search innovations since October. Keeping itself on pace, today Google announced the launch of real-time search, an innovation we know has been coming for a while now as Google tries to compete with the freshness of Twitter content. The new real-time search function, called “latest results”, incorporates feeds from news, blogs, FriendFeed, Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace. It shows up in the Google search results page similarly to how news, blog, images or video results are currently displayed.
Here’s a screenshot:

Google search results

The latest results scroll along with live updates as new information comes in and you can scroll backwards in time to see older stories and posts. The point is to provide the freshest material out there – before it hits the newsstands or Google’s news results. But not just anything will show up in the instant results. Google has said they need to see a spike in the information being generated about a certain keyword before instant results are generated – the feature will not be displayed for all searches until a specific threshold is reached. Instant results are also available for mobile searchers.

While this is no doubt going to be a useful feature for breaking news, only time will tell how relevant the results generated are and more importantly, if they actually provide quality information that is useful to searchers. You can expect to see Google tweaking the instant results algorithm as they figure out what works and what doesn’t. This change will reward companies who understand social media and who have been harnessing channels like Twitter effectively, allowing them to gain space on the Google search results page which has traditionally been dominated by larger companies with more authoritative websites. As for SEO efforts, this continues to underscore the need for companies to harness multiple marketing channels and view marketing efforts and customer touch points holistically rather than isolated from each other.

While real time search will be unrolled over the next few days and may not be immediately available for all users, you can see it in action now at Google Trends (which has moved out of Google Labs) and clicking on any of the trending topics.

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