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Google have long since mooted the idea of adding a real-time element to their search – as highlighted by our May 22 post Is Real-Time Search Really the Future for Google? However, it now appears Bing have beaten them to the punch.
The Bing Community blog yesterday announced the first tentative steps of real-time interaction. Initially this will include the posts of the most followed and influential Twitter account users; however, it appears that plans are already afoot for further developments.
So now if you search for somebody who also has a major Twitter account, say for arguments sake Matt Cutts, using their Twitter username (@Mattcutts) or name followed by Tweets or Twitter (Matt Cutts Twitter), you’ll now get a page like that shown below.
This of course doesn’t represent a full real-time integration. There’s no rolling feed, you still need to refresh for the latest Tweets and you can’t access all of the major trends as of yet. But it does show that there is progress being made by the search engines in giving people what they want; news and views in real-time.
Googlers, like the aforementioned Mr. Cutts, will most likely point at the appearance of Tweets within their searches; however, these have been too few and far between to be given any real relevance. But once again, this may be another time where Microsoft has stolen a march on them.
Invariably, I think Google will go real-time eventually, or at least include elements of it. But this announcement could well spur them into more immediate action to ensure that millions of Web 2.0 users don’t jump ship to their newest competitor.
With Bing still eking out Google’s gargantuan lead in the race to become the world’s leading search engine, this development will certainly raise a few eyebrows. I doubt it’ll see anything more than a minor surge in Bing’s popularity, but every little counts. Google still remain the clear leaders of search innovation, but there’s no doubt that Microsoft are really starting to get their act together; as this real-time development shows.