The Real Time Search Delusion

May 20, 2009

We are in for an exciting autumn. I keep looking for signs that Microsoft is making headway in new Administration.  I thought Google would nail some major deals but I have a hunch, Redmond has put a stick in the Google’s advance in one key US government agency. More about this when a “real journalist posts a Kobe beef news story”. I just link and comment as an addled goose should.

I was thinking about Google’s government snub when a reader sent me a link to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, a good source of anti Google messaging. The story “Google ‘Falling behind Twitter’” did not disappoint.

The point of the story was that Google has been body slammed by Twitter in the areas of real time search based on microblogging. For me, the most interesting segment in Richard Wray’s story were these remarks allegedly made by Googlers here:

“People really want to do stuff real time and I think they [Twitter] have done a great job about it,” Page said in a closing address at Google’s Zeitgeist conference . “I think we have done a relatively poor job of creating things that work on a per-second basis.”

Let’s think about this. Twitter is not new. Twitter contains short comments that are broadcast to people. Twitter is the hot info company. Twitter makes no sense to some people.

If the Guardian’s story is accurate, Google is just now realizing that it missed the Twitter brass ring. A question to ask the Googlers is, “Why?” The Google fix is to build Twitter applications and tap the buzz that way. Good plan but the approach conceded in my opinion that Twitter at the moment owns the real time consumer content space. Said another way, Google missed a chance. Just as Microsoft missed Web search and IBM missed on PC operating systems.

What I find fascinating is that the time between these business misses (what Ben Gilad calls “business blindspots”) is decreasing. With fewer opportunities to rework online content, a miss today has a greater chance of going critical without warning.

Google glitches, Google legal hassles, and now a Google business blindspot. Twitter that.

Stephen Arnold, May 20, 2009


2 Responses to “The Real Time Search Delusion”

  1. Angel Maldonado on May 20th, 2009 12:57 am

    Google is now missing the conversations. Good point to compare this miss with IBM’s on PCs or MSs on Web Search.

    The more we use social and professional nets the less we need to go to Google (and other sites) to look for info, products and services. Why would I go anywhere for anything if it comes to me?

    This issue of exposing info that matters to you that social nets deliver needs to be translated to the enterprise. The finding info issue can be greatly improved by participating in open micro-messaging conversations.

    🙂 @angelmaldonado

  2. Avi Rappoport / on May 20th, 2009 4:05 pm

    I think it’s going to be a race between Google getting the near-real-time posts (preferably conversations) into their indexes and Twitter adding some semblance of relevance. I don’t think either one will be as good as the other for what they do best, but one might be good enough, and that’s often the winner.

    If you’d care to do me a favor, it would be great if you linked to my twitter search article,


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