Can we stop the real-time search debate now?

Mon 14 September 2009 13:36, Eduard Blacquière

Can we stop the real-time search debate now?

Real-time Search is hot. Ever since Twitter came along, they took and dominated the real-time search space. Especially with their new search engine like homepage. Can Google keep up with them or not? Will Twitter beat Google at its core?

At least it is keeping the industry busy. On SearchCowboys there have been written half a dozen articles and the first SearchCowboys podcast was about real-time search.

Yesterday the Omgili blog highlighted how you can tweak Google's new Search Options to filter results by minutes and even seconds. That seems close to real-time search, doesn't it?

Of course Google sees the importance of real-time search. Google has been speeding up their crawl and indexation frequency for several years now, so that's not really new.

However what is new is that you can manually tweak Google's Search Options to filter out near real-time search results. Let's say you filter your results for the past 24 hours, the URL looks like this:

http://www.google.com/search?q=query&hl=en&tbo=1&tbs=qdr:d

Now we can tweak the value of the 'qdr' parameter. The value 'd' means day (24 hours), but you can also use the value 'h' (hour):

http://www.google.com/search?q=query&hl=en&tbo=1&tbs=qdr:h

As you can see, the results are now filtered for the past hour. This option also appears underneath the time filter options:

Google%20tweaked%20search%20options%20-%20hour
Of course we are not getting near real-time results, so let's tweak the Search Options some more. By adding the value 's' to the qdr parameter, we will see results for the past second (!).

Unfortunately Google does not have results for the past second on the term 'query', but we can also specify a date range of 45 seconds for example (adding 's45' as qdr value). I got a result for the query nature, indexed 22 seconds ago:

http://www.google.com/search?q=nature&hl=en&tbo=1&tbs=qdr:s45

Google%20tweaked%20search%20options%20-%20seconds
I'm not saying that Twitter Search is doomed now Google's index keeps getting fresher. But imagine when this becomes a regular Search Option. With the scale of Google that would be an impressive real-time search feature to say the least.

Of course Twitter still has a valuable database of tweets and conversations which Google and other search engines do not have. But do not make the mistake thinking that Google has lost the real-time search game. They're into it more than ever.


  • Comments (5)
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Comments (5)

 

  • The question we need to ask is this: Is it wise to totally focus on realtime search?

    The thing is that it helps spammers and people who express non-news without looking for proper sources (fe: deaths in showbizz-world who are not really dead). People could misuse sources with a lot of authority (like twitter for example) which are picked up not only by twitter but also by the big Search Enginges. This will cause a lot of junk to come in the serps which will probably push down results which are better in terms of quality. IF they get realtime search in... it may be wisest to make two collumns in SERPS... one with realtime results... and one with the "ordinary results".

    Ma 14 sep 2009, 13:54


  • Google is definitely making strides in real-time search and will no doubt throw resources and millions of dollars at conquering it. The improvements they have made, while good, still leave it quite a ways behind Twitter's search function.

    Think of the amount of blogs, webpages, tweets that are updated every minute. Google is "responsible" for providing results to these pages if some performs a "real time search" on their site. It is much larger then what Twitter is responsible for and much larger of a task to send spiders out to crawl all of this data.

    I like Seth, idea in the reply above of offering two different SERP columns. His point about spam could easily affect the results that are present for a real time search.

    Ma 14 sep 2009, 19:51


  • Google is definitely making strides in real-time search and will no doubt throw resources and millions of dollars at conquering it. The improvements they have made, while good, still leave it quite a ways behind Twitter's search function.

    Think of the amount of blogs, webpages, tweets that are updated every minute. Google is "responsible" for providing results to these pages if some performs a "real time search" on their site. It is much larger then what Twitter is responsible for and much larger of a task to send spiders out to crawl all of this data.

    I like Seth, idea in the reply above of offering two different SERP columns. His point about spam could easily affect the results that are present for a real time search.

    Ma 14 sep 2009, 19:51


    • Singapore SEO Specialist In Malaysia
    • [website]

    I love the real time feature. Though it not really real time, it is better than nothing. You can tick Google 3600 box at http://ultimasurf.com to get the pages indexed by Google for the past 1 hour (3600 seconds). Google Sandbox, WonderWheel, & Timeline are available there too.

    Di 15 sep 2009, 14:56


  • the real time web is here to stay, as it offers a different kind of search.

    http://sency.com just launched and it offers some unique approaches to the space

    Za 10 okt 2009, 03:15

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