Google targets real-time search

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Google redoubles real-time search efforts

Real-time search results will be given greater prominence on Google than ever before, it has been announced.

The Hot Trends application has been incorporated into mainstream search results in the US and Japan, meaning users who type in one of the 100 fastest-rising phrases on Google will be presented with a fact box at the bottom of page one. This box contains meta data such as a graph revealing how the term's popularity has spiked, where it stands in the top 100 list and a link to more comprehensive information in Hot Trends.

Twitter and real-time search

Real-time results have emerged as an important aspect of search marketing with Twitter-based applications such as Twitter Search, What the Trend? and Trendistic providing data on what topics are currently dominating users' thoughts. However, Google thinks that search engines have an important edge over Twitter when it comes to trend-tracking.

"Trends is all based on a different kind of tweet," said R J Pittman, director of product management for consumer search properties at Google. "Instead of the 140 character tweet, it's the 20-25 character tweet, the keyword search. And those come in much faster than tweets do. In our view, that's the highest fidelity information for trending topics."

Many digital marketers have expressed an interest in placing content-related ads alongside real-time search results on Twitter. This might enable automakers to place relevant ads in front of people blogging about buying a new car, for example. However, co-founder Biz Stone recently announced that Twitter ads would not be allowed until 2010 at the earliest.