OneUpWeb, an online research marketing firm recently performed an eye-tracking study regarding recent integration of Real-Time search results into the Google searches. With this addition, Google’s goal is to update the real-time stream feed for searches based on live web traffic from tweets, news articles, Yahoo Answers and other sources. As of last three month you might have noticed a scrolling feature in the organic Google search results constantly updating with “relevant” information regarding your query.
Like the majority of the population, I’ve only recently learned of Real-Time search result concept. And considering my interest in the developments and changes in the search engine world and their marketing implication, I had to do some research and analysis.
After running a quick search on Google for Hurt Locker, it being the most recent “pop cultural event” due to the recent Oscar win, the Google search results did include a real-time stream. It included various publication reviews of the movie, opinions on the recent Oscar wins, and general public twitter feeds regarding the subject. How relevant or useful was the real-time results? Well, personally I didn’t find the real time results to be any more helpful than the regular organic results and somehow I assigned less credibility to the stream.
As for the result of the study, to no one’s surprise the vast majority of the survey group had never heard of real-time search results prior to the study and after learning about the concept only one quarter of the surveyed group cared about the real-time results. The real-time results could potentially be useful in some searches depending on general interests and information needs of the user; however, the organic search results do seem to be more relevant, and in most cases more credibility is assigned to the organic search results as opposed to the random public twitter feeds on the matter.
I do think that as social media continues to develop online, Google’s real-time results will consist of more relevant and useful information and carry more value for the end user. However, for now it’s still work in progress. It would be interesting to see how the real-time search feed continues to evolve and become a bigger part of the organic search results.