Real-Time Search: Fresh And Relevant Results At Your Fingertips

In December 2009, Google rolled out a real-time search feature that displayed data in the SERPs from Twitter feeds, Google News, and other freshly-indexed pages as they were published. The latest information was shown in the middle of the results pages in a cascading manner. It also had a Pause function which allows you to stop the flow of posts and resume it when you’re ready. However, you can’t remove the section at the time.

What It’s For

According to Google’s official announcement on its blog, they continually strive to provide users with the “freshest, most comprehensive, and relevant search results” even as the web’s content grows exponentially. Real-time search offers live updates that are related to your query; basically giving you information before you think about asking for it.

This update allows users to discover breaking news the moment that it occurs even if it hasn’t garnered enough clicks to gain organic traffic. Clicking on the Latest Results section opens a full page of blogs, news, live tweets, and other newly-indexed content. The part has also been optimized for iPhone and Android devices for users who need information right now.

Google partnered with platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, FriendFeed, Jaiku,, and Twitter for the real-time search feature. They incorporated new search technologies that allowed them to monitor over a billion documents and sift through millions of real-time changes daily to provide relevant results that have been filtered of spam.

What Were Its Effects

The update appeared to have garnered minor changes in SERPs with the addition of the Latest Results section. Nonetheless, it may have provided leverage for blogs who ranked low for specific keywords regarding visibility. With this feature, their posts may have gotten the clicks if they were able to report about a particular incident or trend first.

For other industries, the focus continued to be on target key phrases with the addition of pinpointing what the moment’s buzzwords are or what people are tweeting about. It became crucial to monitor peaks and troughs in volume for real-time search results.

What It Means for You

By July 2011, Google announced that they temporarily disabled real-time search and, instead, prioritized the integration of their Google+ project into this functionality. At the time, the direct URL to real-time search resulted to a 404 error, and the option was removed from the search engine’s left sidebar which featured vertical search items like images, videos, and news.

Now, the company continues providing real-time data through Google Trends. It measures the popularity of top search queries and makes it understandable through graphs. This functionality offers valuable insight on your SEO strategies, especially for keyword research.

Here are a few ways to maximize Google Trends for your site’s SEO:

  • Look for Generic Keywords First Google Trends’ main dashboard is straightforward and enables you to type in relevant keywords for your industry. It’s recommended that you start with generic search terms and then filter accordingly using four factors:
  • Worldwide – This drop-down box allows you to target consumers from a specific location.
  • Time Selection – It shows when a keyword peaks and when it doesn’t bring in as much traffic. The range goes all the way from 2004 to the past 4 hours. Plus, you can even customize the time range for in-depth insight.
  • Category – Filtering through this factor shows vertical search results if you only want information from the arts and entertainment niche or to include other industries like real estate, health, and law.
  • Search Type – This one provides more advanced search options such as web search, which is the default setting, image search, news, Google Shopping, and YouTube search. Each variable yields results based on different parts of your potential markets.
  • Look at the Big Picture The popular search terms today may not bring in more traffic in the long run. That’s why it’s essential that you use Google Trends’ Time Selection feature to get the overall context of a particular keyword by checking its popularity today and how many people used it before. With this information, you can forecast if it’ll be wise for you to invest in it today and anticipate great yields in the future.
  • Look between Two Searches Google Trends has a Compare feature that allows you to cross-reference and add new keywords to your research. It displays a side-by-side comparison of the interest that these search terms have garnered over time. This data can help you predict future trends on the keywords that are relevant to your niche or industry.