By Tanya Goodin, CEO at search and social media conversion agency, Tamar.
The Google announcement that real-time search is being rolled out is no surprise.
Google needed to find a way to engage with the ‘I want it now’ generation so the fact they have teamed up with, among others, Twitter and MySpace is not unexpected.
Being able to deliver hot trending results, down to the micro second, is where search engines have been heading for the past few years
By developing new technologies, Google has increased their ability to source and deliver instantaneous results without losing their ability to produce quality and relevance that we have come to expect.
The new search landscape offers many opportunities for all companies to engage, in real time, with their customers via search engines
And while this may require new agile internal processes to deliver the information that Google will use these are going to have to be put in place because if you aren’t, your competitors, and possibly detractors, will be. “
Google has been tip-toeing around real-time search for months but this move really does cement Social Media at the centre of Search.
Before now, people would use Twitter, for example, to do their ‘emotional research’ – engaging with others to find out how they felt about brands, products, services – and trusting Google to deliver the factual side, the best deals, information and so on.
The new deals with Facebook, MySpace, FriendFeed and the other social nets, along with the Twitter tie-up announced a few months ago shows that Google is moving at a breakneck pace, and while they’ve always been focused on innovation, the speed of roll-outs must in some measure be due to Microsoft’s Bing onslaught.
Some hard-nosed observers might even say that Google is being spooked in particular by the Microsoft charge into next-generation Search.
Now, Google is more fully addressing those emotional needs – and brands are going to have to get serious about Social, very quickly.
What Google’s move means is that there's going to be a whole heap of ‘screen real-estate’ that will be much less controllable with traditional SEO methods, although of course new ones will be developed.
If somebody does a branded search for a product and finds less-than-favourable messages from Twitter or a blog, this will have an effect on their purchase choices.
It's no longer going to be enough for companies to simply optimise their websites and presences. They have got to be completely on top of what people are saying about them.
We can expect more rapid changes in the next year that will increase pressure on companies to ramp up their Search campaigns and engage with their customers across new terrains mapped out by the social media networks.
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