Google has taken the next step towards real-time search results by signing deals with MySpace and Facebook to include publicly available status updates in its search index. Google recently signed a similar agreement with Twitter. According to a Google spokesperson, the partnerships will go live on Google across all English language domains (both .com and .co.uk) “over the coming days.”
When a Google user runs a search on a particular topic, they will now receive real-time updates from the three social media sites as well as the usual list of search results – a development the business community would do well to take on board. Search engine optimization efforts will now need to include a social media presence if businesses are to succeed in putting their brands at the top of the Google search results for relevant search terms.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Tom Stocky, Google’s director of product management said: “People want the most up-to-date information and that’s what services such as Twitter have provided a great platform for – which is why we are really happy to work with them and gain access to that information so we can deeply embed it into our search system.”
Stocky emphasized the importance of speed to Google search: “Search speed means two things: one – how quickly results come back to you and two – how quickly we can update the information. Adding real-time results to our product will massively help with the latter part of this definition. We have to make our results as fresh and relevant as possible.”
Bing is also taking steps towards real-time search results. It is currently running a separate site which integrates ‘tweets’, although it has yet to integrate Twitter updates into its main search. The company is also working on a similar dedicated site for Facebook updates.