In December of 09’, Google implemented real time results into their website. This can benefit the user because if you happen to be searching for a hot topic – you will usually see real time results streaming on the results pages at Google.com.
However, Google is just mixing in real time results sometimes, and there are a slew of real time search engines , such as Sency, which are completely focused on real time results. So where will users go for real time searches?
One take-away from the headaches that came with Google Buzz is that while Google is trying to get users to interact insider Gmail – people have gotten use to using Gmail for email. People like interacting on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace because that is where they have always interacted socially. Gmail, has been used for private communication – so thus far – people haven’t been as excited about interacting in a different way through Gmail.
Often, internet users get comfortable and use to a website for a given task – and those habits and built in branding are hard to change. Imagine if CNN.com started focusing on just social media news – I’ll bet a lot of people would be confused and and many people would still go to Soshable for their social media news. So, it is important to focus on what you are good at.
The real time web I believe will have a similar path. Google is far and away the #1 traditional search engine. That is where users will always migrate to for traditional searches. However, the real time web offers a different type of search – with different types of results. And, if you mix in real time results with traditional web results, it may end up confusing the user and it also may end up making it more difficult for the user to get the info they are actually looking for.
If you want to find out what people are saying right now about any given subject– a real time search is the way to go. If you want to find out what the hottest links are right now about a given keyword – a real time search is also the way to go. There are several engines focusing on bringing this real time information to you. And, you don’t have to be a member of any social network to perform a search on the real time web. Traditional engines, that try to mix in real time results – won’t be able to “know” for sure whether a searcher wants real time info or traditional info. It’s the user that knows what they want – and real time search is so unique, that for now at least, the real time searches are best performed on a site entirely focused on the real time.
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Read more about Real Time Search on this blog.