Sunday, August 02, 2009

How Google should add real-time search results of Twitter and other sites

Most of us who are familiar with real-time search engines have heard about some of the top guns in this business like Scoopler, Collecta, CrowdEye and Tweetmeme. These engines, apparently unexpectedly, are making Google think about integrating some real-time search results into its results. It will appear to be a very complex task considering Google's present algorithms and functionality is totally different in the way it calculates search results, and they are not adapted yet to integrate real-time results at all. If they start doing that, the relevant search results which appear now may be pushed down by lesser important tweets or results by other micro blogging services, simply because in the concept of real-time you are giving importance to an incident that is twitter-bird-googlehappening right at this instant, it may be of no priority at all, but since it takes place “now” it has to find its place at the top of the real-time search results.

What many people are doing right now before Google officially does something is that they are adding scripts to their Firefox Grease monkey which enables them to see the top 5 Twitter results whenever they search Google for any topic. This looks pretty cool and Google may stop thinking of adding any real-time results at all. But with its new close rival Bing already having added this feature, it appears to be very soon that Google will come up with this new integration of real-time search.

The best way to do what I feel should be to leave the actual search results as they appear totally intact. This is something which has made Google what it is today. Better to leave it untouched, but just add a link at the top of the page where Google shows “Web”, “Images”, “Maps”, “News” etc. Now if they add a link “Real-time” there, which on clicking would display all the millions of results from all micro blogging services (probably including Digg, Flickr as well). Now this could prove to be futile as most links that appear on top could be less relevant and the ones pushed down could be the better ones. Also a mixture of all services like Twitter, Digg and Flickr could also seem cumbersome. But with so many real-time search engines around, its pretty easy to see what are the users preferences and what they like, which would provide valuable information while adding this service. These are the issues that really need to be addressed very well by Google.

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