Aug 272010

‘Google Realtime Search’ can be accessed here
and “soon” via its own web address:

Dylan Casey, a product manager at Google, wrote on the company’s blog:
“On the new homepage you’ll find some great tools to help you refine and
understand your results. First, you can use geographic refinements to find
updates and news near you, or in a region you specify. So if you’re
travelling to Los Angeles this summer, you can check out tweets from
Angelenos to get ideas for activities happening right where you are.

“In addition, we’ve added a conversations view, making it easy to follow a
discussion on the real-time web. Often a single tweet sparks a larger
conversation of re-tweets and other replies, but to put it together you have
to click through a bunch of links and figure it out yourself. With the new
“full conversation” feature, you can browse the entire conversation in a
single glance. We organise the tweets from oldest to newest and indent so
you quickly see how the conversation developed.

“Finally, we’ve also added updates content to Google Alerts, making it easy to
stay informed about a topic of your choosing. Now you can create an alert
specifically for “updates” to get an email the moment your topic appears on
Twitter or other short-form services. Or, if you want to manage your email
volume, you can set alerts to email you once per day or week.”

At the end of last year, search engines had begun to disappoint those
searchers hunting for the latest updates on fast-moving stories. During last
summer’s protests in Iran, for example, Google search results delivered the
Wikipedia entry for Iran or a recent news article about the clashes.
However, a search on Twitter showed the latest news from the people on the
streets of Tehran as events unfolded.

This demand for real-time information led to Google, Microsoft’s Bing and
Yahoo!, partnering with the likes of Twitter, in order to make their
searches more relevant and faster.

Last year, in an interview
with The Telegraph, Tom Stocky, Google’s director of product
management said: “People want the most up-to-date information and that’s
what services such as Twitter have provided a great platform for – which is
why we are really happy to work with them and gain access to that
information so we can deeply embed it into our search system.”

Stocky explained that speed is essential to Google search and one of the
elements it is always trying to improve. “Search speed means two things: one
– how quickly results come back to you and two – how quickly we can update
the information. Adding real-time results to our product will massively help
with the latter part of this definition. We have to make our results as
fresh and relevant as possible.”

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