Google has been using realtime search in its results for some time now. If you’re a frequent Googler, you’ll no-doubt have seen evidence of this, with ‘embedded tweets’, relevant to your search, showing up within the Google results pages.
As real-time search has become more and more important to us, Google has had to evolve rather quickly and to be fair; it’s been able to do that so far. It’s changed its indexing process to make it much quicker, and has also provided users with the chance to define a time period for results (i.e., ‘Any time’, ‘Latest’, ‘Past 24 hours’ and so on).
Recently, Google has taken this realtime function a step further – it’s created a homepage for it, called ‘Google Realtime’. If you haven’t yet used Google Realtime, go and take a look at www.google.co.uk/realtime - it’s pretty impressive.
It’s clear that this realtime function has some value and it will continue to become more important to us. But rather than relying on Twitter to deliver news as it happens, Google is now bringing numerous realtime sources together in one place – creating the next generation search engine.
The features Google provides within this facility are particularly interesting. Not only does it update the results listing with new information when it becomes available, it also provides a list of ‘Top Links’, which in a way gives a brief overview of trending topics/stories.
Further, at the top of the page a timeline is available, which indicates how many updates have been published over the course of a particular time period. You can change this time period to an individual day, a month or even a year. It’s interesting that Google has made this information public – rather than integrating it into some sort of analytics package! Two more features I thought were particularly interesting were the ‘search by location’ and the ‘create an email alert for…’ functions. Obviously, the ‘search by location’ gives you the ability to restrict your search to a particular location – and Google makes the process a little easier when it comes to searching ‘nearby’, with a handy link. As for the email alert facility, it is possible to instruct Google to send email alerts about a given topic direct to your inbox pretty much as often as you want. It’s going to be interesting to see where Google go with this realtime stuff...