Real time web validated by Google announcement

Does Google’s announcement that it will add a stream of real time content from across the web into its search results validate the value of real time search.

This is how Google put its announcement earlier this week:

Now, immediately after conducting a search, you can see live updates from people on popular sites like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as headlines from news and blog posts published just seconds before. When they are relevant, we’ll rank these latest results to show the freshest information right on the search results page.

It’s a big difference to users, who will now get a raft of new information sources thrown into the mix that thus far have been “largely” the preserve of the tech and media communities, but what will everyone make of this, I’m not sure. 

One thing that is for sure is that this move by Google brings the real time search products, like twitter right into the mainstream, and if Google thinks it should include it then in many ways this does validate the value of real time search to users.

Tobias Peggs, GM of OneRiot a real time search product, said that 40% of searches on internet were looking for real time information.

Speaking on a panel called “content versus conversation” at Le Web, in Paris, Peggs said that this means there’s a 40% market share in the search market for real time search, a big chunk.

However, real time search has a lot of challenges to deal with if it is to cut into the traditional search market.

Peggs said that traditional search had 10 years experience of monetising its content through Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation, but this breaks down when it comes to real time web.  

Nick Halstead, CEO of, agrees that real time search has to find its revenue stream, but it also faces other challenges, such as authority and relevancy of content in the context of traditional search.

I agree, when you search twitter for content and it is derived from your followers, who you have hand selected, you can then make up your own judgement and select the authority of that source.

Take that element of context out of the mix and if alongside your results for a search on “earthquake”, for example, are loads of tweets from people you don’t know, what is the value of that information? 

Google’s move definitely validates the value of real time search, but it also throws up lots of other challenges for the real time web, which is still a young developing industry. Sometimes we can’t second guess the way it will develop.