Real-Time Search vs. Traditional Search Basics
CNN streamed live video coverage of Michael Jackson’s memorial
along with Facebook status updates.
The Michael Jackson memorial service held earlier today was monumental. Not only because of the revolutionary life it honored, but also because it marked one of the first major events to garner world-wide interest since the Internet went mainstream. As people turned to their social media networks to share thoughts and feelings about the memorial and Michael, the reach and influence of social media was in full display.
The ever-growing popularity of social media and its constantly updating content was noticed early by marketers as well as developers. In the last few months, the SEO community has witnessed a crop of real-time search engines springing onto the scene. You can find reviews comparing the various search sites across technology news and blog sites. And search marketer David Harry looked at the performance of several real-time search engines next to the big three, concluding with an SEO recommendation that basically amounts to “don’t worry about it”.
From David’s post:
What is really happening with the current stock of RT engines? For the most part these are nothing more than social mention regurgitation more than any type of formal crawling/indexation. That is certainly NOT what a search engine is or does…
Real time search is still something that hasn’t been effectively conquered from a technical and critical mass vantage point. As such, it shouldn’t be a serious consideration for any SEO beyond the potential for buzz monitoring.
Sing it, brother.
Today’s renditions of real-time search are actually aggregators of social media mentions. And users get all the noise and irrelevant results they could hope for; at the moment, spam filters are non-existent for most of these engines and result order is usually based on what’s most recent.
When it comes down to it, a comparison of real-time search to today’s traditional search is akin to pitting expediency and speed against reliability and authority. Even before real-time search became the buzzword bingo word of the minute, search marketers all subscribed to Google Alerts to get a heads up on mentions of brands or power keywords. Thing is, such results are typically littered with rubbish and often required a fine tooth comb and a monocle to find any hidden gems. At best, real-time search engines are buzz monitoring tools. At worst, they could signal a backwards step for search kind.
What I think real-time search does offer is a popularity litmus test. SEOs looking to gauge interest in timely topics can turn to social search for a quick review of the collective mind. But when it comes to rest of the Web search legwork, I’ll take my relevant, spam-free traditional search, please.