Find What You’re Looking For with Real Time Search

There is hardly a day that goes by within the internet industry that real-time search is not mentioned. To feed this new thirst for real-time information, new search engines such as Twitter Search, Scoopler, Collecta, Topsy, CrowdEye, are multiplying like bunnies .

Real-time search is fairly new and not well defined , but basically it means dropping the time a modification to an indexed piece of information takes to be seen by users to a near negligible amount – quick indexation by search engines means that your message will be found while it’s still relevant.

Real-time search helps anybody who reads or writes content with a short shelf-life. If you post about an in-progress disaster, a celebrity death, or a limited-time offer, your content is hot one minute, cold the next, so quick indexation by search engines means that your content will be found while it’s still relevant.

Real-time search is still in its infancy however, its growth is greatly fostered by microblogging service Twitter, which people use for posting instant updates on topics from politics to product reviews. Many analysts view Twitter as an important source for information. Real-time search is one of the hottest mini Web trends out there right now, with broader implications for the social web.

Real time search of social content will be as important for advertisers as it is for consumers – further changing the way that brands approach everything from advertising to product development.

The concept is interesting just from a personal point of view; being able to get a snapshot of trends, pattern recognition, and style.  It’s most interesting from a professional point of view though, allowing us to efficiently quantify how brands are doing and what people are saying.

With the effluence of Tweets over Michael Jackson’s death and the Iranian presidential election, Twitter was once again vaulted to the spotlight as the communications medium unmatched by no other. Its search engine has spawned a number of real-time search engine copycats, trying to solve the problem of how to find what’s happening about you and your interests now! CrowdEye does offer some Twitter data that its competitors don’t, though: the popular links results are nice, and the graph of popularity over time for your search term could also be useful. For acquiring a comprehensive picture of what’s going on in real time, though, I think search sites are going to have to go beyond Twitter.

Facebook has just started rolling out its own real-time search feature, much like Twitter’s, which has been around for some time. Facebook has also bought FriendFeed , which already has a good real-time search feature that searches content across many social sites, based on what its users share.

If real-time search is to be more useful, the information it provides has to have some sort of quality assurance, and not just freshness. There’s almost certainly a trade-off, since it ordinarily takes time to vet information for quality, even if the vetting is through crowdsourcing .
For website owners, it’s a great way to add a real-time dimension to your site and surface buzz. Although Twitter’s search market share is not significant enough compared to other search engine, it is still interesting to know that Twitter search is becoming a real-time web search engine.

About the Author:
Ken Ivey, aka “the Web Czar” – wants to help you leverage technology to reach your goals.  Contact Ken for a free initial consultation to see how the web can work for you.  His website is www.midtntechnology.com

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