By Harry McCracken | Monday, December 7, 2009 at 11:45 am
Google announced several interesting things at its press event today, including Google Goggles, a vision-assisted search app for Android phones that lets you snap a photo of a real-world item, then get information about it. But the big news turned out to be Google Real-Time Search, a new search feature that gives you the very latest results for your search queries. As in ones that are seconds old.
It’s not a replacement for Google search as we know it–in fact, it’ll be embedded within standard Google search results, in a scrolling window that updates automatically and lets you backtrack to see what you might have missed. You’ll also be able to view real-time results all by themselves, via a new “Latest” option in Google’s Search Options menu. That gets you a page that mashes up items from Twitter, news sites, blogs, and other sources–and Google announced today that it’s struck deals with Facebook and MySpace to bring public information from their users into Google Real-Time Search.
Here’s an image of real-time results, but a static picture can’t really do them justice, since they auto-update in a way that’s kind of hypnotic. So here’s a link to the current version of the results below.
Real-Time Search is going live today, but Google says it’ll take a couple of days to roll out. However, you can try it right now by going to the new version of Google Trends. Click on one of the Hot Topics on the left or enter your own search in the field below them, and you’ll get real-time results.
Google says that the relevance of these results are the key to them being useful. I haven’t played with the new feature enough to have a take on how good it is at pinpointing the good stuff–hey, the event is still going on as I write this–but it’s clear that the company’s right about relevance being vital. I sometimes think that if it were easier to find the best results on Twitter, about half the Twitter skeptics in the world would become fans. And with Google Real-Time Search pulling in results from Twitter and a bevy of other sources, an unranked, unfiltered list of snippets and links could be a nightmare.
I plan to spend more time the new features soon–but in the meantime, try ’em out yourself and let us know your take. Here, try these queries:
And here’s Google’s official blog post on the new features.