It was foretold, and lo, it has come to pass: Google has implemented real-time search, built right into its existing search results framework. What does that mean?
It means you get instant access to stuff that’s happening as it happens, including up-to-the-minute results from Yahoo! Answers, news and blog posts, and Twitter content. Real-time results are accessible on mobile platforms like the iPhone and Android devices, too, making it even more useful.
Google made an official announcement regarding the service today, posting images of and detailing the new real-time results, but it has yet to implement the new features in all areas. I couldn’t access the real-time searching, for instance, though other recent improvements like the super-clean redesigned home page were active.
The results don’t overrule or occlude the more established type of content you’re used to seeing in Google searches. Instead, they sit alongside sites which contain general information and context related to your query. Judging by the screenshots and preview videos, it’s an elegant marriage of the two types of information, and, best of all, you don’t have to go to a separate site or do any kind of special settings changes to enable the new real-time searching.
If you do want to focus your search on only the most current information, however, you can select “Latest” from the search options menu to view an entire page full of tweets, new blog posts, and fresh news content related to the topic you’re searching. Finally, you can check out “hot topics” on Google Trends to see a list akin to the trending topics on Twitter, except covering all the types of publications instead.
This development has huge implications for web workers. Web research can now speak to the immediate present as well as information that’s had time to percolate. Obviously, that has both good and bad sides. On the one hand, you can better handle major industry shifts as a subject-matter expert, and impress clients with your currency. On the other, people will have to be much more dependent on their own common sense, since real-time information is much more vulnerable to the dissemination of falsehoods, intentional or otherwise.
Check out the following video for more about the new addition to Google’s arsenal:
Let us know when Google gets updated in your area as real-time search rolls out worldwide.