New, real-time, up to the minute search has become the next big thing in both Google and Bing. While many people are concerned that this may ‘cheapen’ the quality and value of regularly indexed search results, having tweets and Facebook profiles crawled almost immediately after their conception will not be detrimental to search engine results. And here’s why:
- People want information. This means they aren’t just looking for an encyclopedia article or an IMDB.com entry when they type in ‘Avatar’. They want to know movie times, what other people thought, and if it’s even worth their time. This is why typing in a popular movie title in Google and Bing will bring up movie times at theaters in the user’s area. Creating smart search engines with real-time results bring people the results they want.
- People are busy. This means they don’t want to have to sift through pages and pages of search engine results before finding a good review on a book or a critical perspective on using blogging to increase web traffic. The Internet was created to bring everyone information fast, and real-time search gives users the most relevant and up-to-date information, not just a 10 year old thesis paper because it has the right keywords.
- People care about what others have to say. This goes back to point #1. Research shows that people are using social media to feel connected to others and to see what they are doing. If someone types in ‘Avatar’ into google and receives 5 tweets that say, “I loved Avatar!”, “Going to see Avatar with the family now”, etc., they are more interested in seeing it. The same goes for products, retail stores, and restaurants. Seeing positive (or negative) tweets or Facebook posts about something will make a person more likely (or less likely) to pay attention to that business or product.
- Businesses can use this to their advantage. Real-time search results means current opinions about a business and their product. Businesses now have a unique perspective into what some of their customers are saying about their brand. As a result, they can improve their product, reach out to unsatisfied customers, and increase brand awareness with social media and Internet marketing campaigns of their own. Besides search engine results, using websites like Social Mention and Google Alerts (setting up an ‘alert’ to be sent to your email every time your brand name is indexed in search results) can also help companies stay abreast on what is being said about them.