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Search Landscape is Changing: Here Comes Real-Time Search
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Well there has been a lot of search activity as of late and some very interesting developments. With the popularity of micro-blogging (see Twitter) and the ability to obtain information real time, internet speed is quickly changing the way we search. Real-time search is a hot topic out there right now and we are starting to see some of the big players roll out real-time search capabilities.

On Twitter you can send information to the online world through 140 characters with one click. This information can quickly be read, absorbed and re-tweeted. (By the way did anyone happen to see the Teen Choice Awards yesterday where the gave away the award for "Choice Twit" - Ellen DeGeneres won for her tweet on why not to tweet about garbanzo beans... anyways I digress...). The fact is that Twitter helps communicate information is real-time (or very close to it).

Now Facebook is looking to improve search by offering real-time search capabilities. The announcement of Facebook's real-time search comes following their big announcement about the acquisition of FriendFeed, which comes with its own real-time search engine. Perhaps to compete directly with Twitter? Here's a look at some of the discussion about Facebook's new improved search from the Facebook blog.

Then earlier today, Google announces their Caffeine project, where the focus is on improving the
speed, accuracy, size, and comprehensiveness of Google search. Over at the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google mentions that there are three things that you need to do to build a great web search engine with the third item being:

"... to rank and return the most relevant pages for users' queries as quickly as possible." Sounds good to me. So what does this mean for real-time search? Well perhaps nothing right now, but the changes being made in Google's infrastructure are a step in the right direction in terms of returning quicker, more accurate results.

Early reviews of Google caffeine seem positive.

Want to check it out for yourself? Try visiting: www2.sandbox.google.com

Google's Matt Cutts has added some additional thoughts on Google Caffeine. According to Cutts,
The Caffeine update isn’t about making some UI changes here or there. Currently, even power users won’t notice much of a difference at all. This update is primarily under the hood: we’re rewriting the foundation of some of our infrastructure. But some of the search results do change, so we wanted to open up a preview so that power searchers and web developers could give us feedback.
Ex-Googler, Vanessa Fox points out:
we can guess that this new infrastructure may include ways of crawling the web more comprehensively, determining reputation and authority (possibly beyond the link graph and what’s typically thought of as PageRank), and returning more relevant results more quickly, although Google’s Matt Cutts told me that the changes are “primarily in how we index”.
Thje Google Caffeine infrastructure appears to be testing the placement of Universal (aka blended search) search results. Although with a lot of the searches that we tried, the results were pretty much the same. We tried some queries for:

Las Vegas
New York Pizza
Barack Obama
Canadian Housing Prices

So before all of you go out and try to figure out how to optimize your web sites, I would suggest addressing the fundamental site issues such as clean URL structure, relevant content, unique title and meta tags and proper interlinking etc, etc are still key. Or as Vanessa Fox states, "foundational elements of having a crawlable infrastructure and compelling content remain."

Looking forward to some real-time searcing in the near future.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Jody @ Tuesday, August 11, 2009  
  • At 6:17 AM, Blogger Dr. Buriburi said…

    Check out this real-time search engine too! feedmil.com

  • At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Monika Lorincz said…

    Indeed, a lot of interesting developments so far but a whole more updates are on their way :) we'd appreciate your feedback on our new Real Time Board at surchur.com

    Monika Lorincz

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