Google search goes Real-Time

Google has just taken its search engine real-time. Searches will now turn up the most recent news to within seconds of the search. The real-time stream of data will be shown within Google’s normal results page, and will be taken from over a billion sites including Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.

“Information is being created at a pace I have never seen before and in this environment, seconds matter,” said Google fellow Amit Singhal at a meeting in California where the move was announced.

Q: So what does it look like?

This is what it looks like onscreen. There’s a box at the top of the screen called latest results which rolls search results in as they turn up.
345 google real time.jpg

Q: What’s the user experience like?

Search for a term as you normally would and latest results will show up. The Google Blog explains how you can go a little further: Click on “Latest results” or select “Latest” from the search options menu to view a full page of live tweets, blogs, news and other web content scrolling right on Google. You can also filter your results to see only “Updates” from micro-blogs like Twitter, FriendFeed, Jaiku and others.

Q: Why can’t I see it on Google now?
The feature hasn’t been fully rolled out yet. It’s coming in the next few days. Results from Twitter will be incorporated from the start but updates from Facebook and MySpace are not expected to be integrated into results until the new year.

Q: Why is it better than the News search?

It’s faster, you can find a story as soon as it’s published, and you don’t have to wait for the story to be popular before Google links you to it. Hell, you don’t even have to wait for a journalist to write it. A tweet would be enough.

Google explain it on their blog: “Our real-time search enables you to discover breaking news the moment it’s happening, even if it’s not the popular news of the day, and even if you didn’t know about it beforehand. For example, in the screen shot, the big story was about GM’s stabilizing car sales, which shows under “News results.” Nonetheless, thanks to our powerful real-time algorithms, the “Latest results” feature surfaces another important story breaking just seconds before: GM’s CEO stepped down.”

Q: What are Hot Topics?

In a Twitter-like touch, Google have added a Hot Topics list to their Google Trends page, showing the most common topics people are publishing to the web in real-time. It sits alongside the most searched-for terms, also up-to-the-second accurate.

Can I see a video of how it works?
Thankfully, yes. Google knocked this one up:

Related: Bing – why you should be using it

Anna Leach