Google goes real-time and adds Facebook & Twitter updates to search

December 8, 2009

Google goes real-time and adds Facebook & Twitter updates to searchGoogle is a pretty amazing Web tool that is essential to most of us trying to navigate the billions of sites, pages, and updates out there. And Google Search has been the standard for many years. However, the real-time Web has become more important in recent years, and Google doesn’t want to be left behind.

Google Search as it was certainly suited most people’s needs. A search for absolutely anything would likely yield multiple results, some of which would be more relevant and useful than others. However, the rise of social networks such as MySpace and Facebook, and then the unbelievable growth of Twitter as a source for news, meant the real-time Web had arrived.

In essence, the real-time Web brought instant results and instant gratification. If a story is breaking or a piece of news is developing then someone, somewhere is talking about it on the Internet, and the likes of Twitter Search was documenting and signposting it all as it happened.

And now Google is embracing the real-time Web with its search results as well. Bing actually beat Google to the punch on this one after Microsoft inked deals with Facebook and Twitter to integrate updates into its results earlier this year. However, Google has now overtaken everyone else with its effort; the sheer range of sites, blogs, and updates moving to real-time being far ahead of all others.

According to TechCrunch, Google fellow Amit Singhal, said at the search giant’s Search Event in Mountain View on Monday:

The importance of relevance has gone through the roof as the amount of information out there is growing. Relevance has become the critical factor. Light can travel around the world in 1/10th of a second, and we won’t rest until the speed of light is the only barrier to getting good search results to you.

It may not yet have reached the speed of light, but results from a huge variety of sources will now update in real-time on any Google Web search. These include Google News sources, Google Blog sources, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Friendfeed, and Jaiku. This video demonstration shows how the syetm will be integrated.

Most peiople should already have this feature working on Google; those who haven’t will do over the next few days. For me this is the moment that the real-time Web truly arrived, with Google’s commitment to it, and the sheer amount of sources it has committed to updating on that basis meaning it’s here and here to stay. Now the onus is on Microsoft to better Google with Bing.

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