Google finally gets real-time

Posted by David Meerman Scott 05:05 AM on December 08, 2009

Yesterday, Google announced on the official Google blog that real-time Web search is being rolled out.

In the Google search results, you will begin to see live updates from sites like Twitter and FriendFeed as well as instant headlines from news and blog posts.

This is important stuff. Really important.

My first job upon graduating from college was as a clerk in a bond-trading department at a Wall Street investment bank. I experienced first-hand the frenetic world of million-dollar decisions made in a fractions of a second because of a news story. I was fascinated by bond traders who spent their days glued to the Dow Jones, Reuters, and Bloomberg terminals looking for that instant newsflash with the power to change prices in real-time. But I was positively mesmerized with the real-time information! It was incredible to see news scroll by on the terminals as it was happening.

Of course, this was many years before the Web, when instant information creation and dissemination became available to anyone with an Internet connection.

But for more than a decade, except for some news sites focused on breaking news, the Web wasn't a place to do real-time research.

That changed with the phenomenal rise of Twitter over the past few years. Twitter allows people to share in real-time. And it allows instant research into what people are saying.

Still, I’ve found it odd that I've needed to go to different places to search for the information that is useful for me. I've used Google Web search for searching the Web for content that is a few days old or older. I used Twitter search (and services like TweetDeck and Twitterfall) to find things that are happening right now. I also rely on Google News for updates of news stories.

  • Want to find out what people are saying right now at a conference? Twitter search.
  • Want to find out what people said about the conference last year? Google search.

I'm looking forward to trying Google real-time search. Hopefully, now I'll find the majority of what I am looking for in one place.

Here's what Google with real-time content looks like in action (click to enlarge):


Image source: the official Google blog

David Meerman Scott

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