Google+ Launches Real-Time Search and Hashtag Support

by Pamela Vaughan

Date

October 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM

google+A couple of months ago, we discussed Google's hint that it may be bringing back real-time search. If you remember, Realtime Search was discontinued in Google web search due to Google's failure to come to an agreement with Twitter, whose data Google had been accessing to deliver accurate real-time results.

The idea was that Google+ would provide Google with the data it needed to create a real-time feature robust enough to re-introduce to search results, even without data from Twitter. Well, it looks like Google is moving to making good on its promise. Yesterday, Google began rolling out real-time search functionality for its search feature within Google+. In addition, it also released hashtag support. Now, when users include a hashtag in any of their Google+ updates, the hashtag will automatically appear as a link to search results for the term.

How Real-Time Search & Hashtag Support Works in Google+

Watch the video below for a better idea of how these new features work within Google+:

To use Google+'s real-time search, a user just conducts a normal search in Google+, waits a few seconds until the "1 more recent post" link appears, clicks the link, and from that point forward, the page will automatically load new posts as they come in -- all in real time.

Another pending Google update launched this week is the ability for users to +1 Google AdWords-powered search results. Now, users can +1 pay-per-click ads in Google as well as see when one of their friends or connections has +1'ed an ad, adding social recommendations to ads and potentially making them more powerful for marketers. For more information about how +1 buttons can benefit marketers' AdWords campaigns, read this article.

Marketing Takeaway

In the battle for search and social domination, Google+ gains a competitive edge with its new features, particularly its real-time search functionality. Google has already begun to include posts from Google+ in Google.com web search results, so with the introduction of real-time search within Google+, it's only a matter of time before Google begins incorporating real-time results there, too.

While there isn't much marketers can do to truly leverage Google+ in their marketing efforts as they continue to wait with bated breath for Google+ to launch business pages, they should also be keeping a close watch in new developments from the search engine giant. It's important for marketers to understand that importance of search engine optimization for social media (AKA social media optimization), especially as real-time search makes its comeback. As content sourced from social networks continues to get pulled into web search results, marketers must understand the benefit of actively updating their social media accounts with fresh, keyword-optimized content. This will give marketers a better chance of getting their content indexed in search results, and in what seems to be the very near future, real-time search results, too.

What do you think of the latest updates from Google+? How do you think the re-release of real-time search will affect marketers?

Image Credit: Fabrizio Van Marciano

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