Is Real-Time Search the “Holy Grail” of 2010?
- In October, Microsoft signed search deals with Facebook and
Twitter to integrate real-time status updates and tweets
into Bing's search results.
- Google followed suit in early December with the announcement that public updates from social media sites Twitter, Facebook and MySpace will start showing up in Google's general search results, a particularly nifty feature for smartphones.
- Even more proof in the pudding, this time from M&A (via TheDeal.com): Real-time search engine developer OneRiot Inc. closed its $7 million Series C, bringing the total venture capital raised to $27 million.
But real-time search is "not there yet," as proven by the magnitude 4.1 earthquake that took place in our ever-shifting city this week. At 10am on Thursday, a small earthquake shook the Bay Area, and within 6 minutes Google search was reflecting the event in the form of Twitter updates, according to Stephen Shankland
at CNET. (Google claims it was just 2 minutes, and Shankland attributes the lag to the fact that he was in Detroit at the time. And clearly, people in Detroit don't give a hoot about California.)
But while we can quibble over minutes, the takeaway here is that real-time search is certainly where it's at for the coming year, but it's going to be up to marketers to figure out how that can work for their brand. To be honest, it's a little scary that a real-time tweet about your company from some Joe in Minnesota can trump your hard-earned spot for your company website, blog, newsletter, video, or special deal — though it does introduce some exciting possibilities, like having access to top sellers and current sentiment data, and eventually, pairing real-time news with real-time ads.