Google announced in their blog that they will soon begin incorporating real-time results into searches. The new features are due to roll out in English this week. You can see how it works now by going to Google Trends and clicking on any of the hot topics.
According to Google’s blog post Relevance Meet the Real-Time Web:
Now, immediately after conducting a search, you can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, we’ll rank these latest results to show the freshest information right on the search results page.
I tried out the new search feature for “winter storm” and did see the real-time results box on the first page. It’s pictured below:
While there are no results from Twitter in this particular screen shot, I did see results from Twitter as it was updating.
On a positive note, this appears to be a step in the right direction when compared to Bing’s effort with Twitter thus far. At lease these real-time results are on the first page of the main Google search page. With Bing, you have to go to a completely different page, bing.com/twitter in order to see Twitter results.
Where Improvement is Necessary: Design. Design. Design.
If I had not labeled the area that was devoted to real-time results in the screen shot above, it would be difficult to notice that it was even there. It certainly is in the screen shot that Google put on their blog. I think it would be better if it were called out a bit more or even given more real estate.
Question: How Are Real-time Results Ranked?
If Google will indeed be featuring real-time public results from Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Indenti.ca, Jaiku, and millions of blogs, how will the importance and ranking of real-time results be determined. I’m sure that people are curious. It would be nice if Google provided a Wikipedia definition of how ranking of results will work.
Google admits that search is still an unsolved problem and reiterated their commitment to continuously making it better. This appear to be a step in the right direction.
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