I just did a random search on Google (can’t remember what for) and discovered a nifty new feature! If you search for the user name of someone on twitter on Google, then Google will recognise this and automatically add a box at the top for a select few of the user’s most recent tweets of that user. Here is a screenshot of when you search for flungo on Google:
As you can see it will only show two updates and these updates may not necessarily be the 2 most recent. After being amazed by just the fact tweet were appearing on twitter, I noticed that there was a link that said, “Pause” and to me this implied that search was live! I tried testing this by making some for some reason (which I am yet to discover – if you know please comment) some of my tweets were omitted even after refreshing and these tweets never appeared on this page; Google must be using some sort of filtering to try and offer the most reliable tweets.
Rather than messily extending down the page (which would be inconvenient for those who don’t wish to use this feature) when the page starts to load more tweets and updates, Google shows them but limits the size of the area, and adds a nice little scroll bar if it exceeds that area. An example of this is bellow when @MOn321 sent me a tweet. 😛
Even though not all tweets are show, you can view more tweets by clicking, “Latest updates for…”. By clicking this you will get a live search page that searches for you query:
This view will display any tweets that contain your query. This view is accessible from any search (even if Google does not automatically show the updates on your main search) by clicking, “Show options…” at the top of the search then selecting “Updates” from the list of search types.
I then decided to search for something that may find a few more results so I did a search for something that has been in the news for quite a while, “Tiger Woods“. Although the Latest Results did not appear at the top of the page it did appear but further down the page. It must use a similar ranking system to when positioning result in accordance to relevance. When I scrolled down, I instantly notice that the update was definitely live with updates coming in every few seconds and that this feature was not just limited Twitter; news sites and other sites that constantly have updates posted at a very fast rate were also being loaded in real time!
To just see the sheer number of tweets that it could build up I left the page searching for “Tiger Woods” for a little while (it ended up being approximately 15 minutes). Google ended up finding so many results that the screenshot is almost 6000 pixels long. For this reason, I am displaying just a thumbnail of the photo on the right however you can click to vie the whole picture 🙂
Overall this looks like a very powerful tool and a step in the correct direction for real-time search for one of the world largest search engines!