Google Search: Fresh, not real time
Google has yet to outline a gameplan to respond to the search world’s latest phenomenon: real time search.
But the Internet company clearly recognizes the importance of fresh search results.
On Thursday Google announced a new feature that lets Web surfers view only search results that have been indexed by its Web crawlers within the past hour.
The update was one of several new features that Google has unveiled over the past week as it seeks to refine the tool used by two out of every three people searching the Web.
Google also introduced a feature that lets users specify whether they want results that are heavier on shopping-oriented Web pages, such as retail sites with products and pricing information, or results that are less commercial in nature.
The shopping option comes as Microsoft tries to lure people to its revamped Bing search engine by highlighting Bing’s strength in shopping and travel searches.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s real time search engine is becoming the Internet’s go-to place for finding the most current information on world events, from earthquakes to political protests.
Google officials said the new search features are not responses to the competition.
Previously, Google let users narrow search results to items posted in the past week or 24 hours.
According to Google officials, the introduction of up-to-the-hour searches doesn’t represent a change in the way Google crawls the Web – the same results were previously available in Google’s index, there just wasn’t a way for someone to only view the really fresh stuff.
Of course serving up results from the past hour is hardly the same as the up-to-the-minute information provided by real time search.
But until Google figures out how it wants to play the real time search game, the company is moving to make its flagship search engine more au courrant.