Google, Microsoft scramble to incorporate real-time search into their results
Call it good or bad timing, but I just happened to finish a report on real-time search on the day that Google announced its rollout of its integrated real-time search results within its general search results. After some last-minute edits, the report is now done and I’m making it available to everyone for free. It’s titled, “Real-Time Search and Discovery of the Social Web.” You can download the PDF, or view it as a slide show on Scribd.
Given that I’m makiing the report available free, I ask just one thing in return: feedback. Positive, negative, it’s all welcomed — just please make it constructive. I’m eagerly learning as much as I can about this subject. This is an area that I think is going to grow like crazy, and we’re only looking at a thumbnail’s worth of what is yet to come.
Here are some highlights from the report.
Real-time search could steal away as much as $40 billion from traditional search. Google and Microsoft’s announcement to incorporate real-time search results is a good first step to prevent losses.
The definition of real-time search is far more varied than the definition of traditional search. You’ll see more variations in what is considered a real-time search engine.
There has been so much conjecture as to how Twitter will start monetizing. Well, it looks like there have been a few baby steps in the form of “sponsored definitions” that cycle through right above the Home link on the navigation bar. It is very subtle and I didn’t notice it myself until today (Seth Simonds has been talking about this since June 23rd).
You won’t see these sponsored definitions every time as they’re interspersed with Twitter definitions that are not sponsored but simply informational or helpful, I guess. An example of a sponsored definition is Exec Tweets and Cinema Tweets — essentially text ads in the guise of being factoids and links to useful apps and services.
This is complete speculation so bear with me. Very recently, Twitter changed its email alert messages from pithy text-only notices of new followers or direct messages to branded, graphical emails.
Well, Twitter has always been in a conundrum: If they monetize the sparse web interface, they’ll alienate their very touchy early adopters and send people away in disgusted droves; however, if they place banners, contextual ads or sponsored links into alert emails, then no harm, no foul.