Search engines shift to real-time results

Google and Twitter have announced a partnership which will give Google access to the full feed of every user’s “tweets”. The move is the strongest indication yet that the search engines are moving towards real-time search results.

Google has already been pipped to the post by new search engine Bing, which has already made Bing Twitter Search available in the US and has signed a deal with Facebook to add public Facebook updates to its search results.

Probably the best explanation for why real-time data has become so important to the search engines comes from Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch. Here’s what he had to say on the topic: “Tweets and other real-time data streams are valuable to Google and Bing because for many types of searches (news, events, sports, stocks, shopping, etc.), the most recent information is often the most relevant.

“And it’s hard to beat millions of people Tweeting out their thoughts … for real-time information about every subject imaginable. Google and Bing need access to this stream of data if they want to keep their results fresh and relevant.”

Google, of course, has already taken a couple of steps towards real-time search. Users performing Google searches can now filter their results to display only pages posted within a specific time-frame – even as recently as the previous seven days. They can also choose to search only blog results as opposed to all web results.

The shift towards real-time search has fairly obvious repercussions for the digital marketing and SEO industries. If a business wants a presence in the search results it needs to make sure it is adding regular content both to its own website and to social media platforms. Static web pages could soon be displayed so far down the search results as to be virtually invisible ….