There is no such thing as Real Time Search

There is no such thing as Real Time Search

Real-time search seems to be the most common tagline these days. Real-time is the new hotness (we agree!) and Google almost made ‘Revenue’ and ‘Search’ synonyms. I guess it was tempting to mix both ;)

When I am doing a “search” on Google or Bing (try it!), I technically don’t know what I will find. To be more precise, I don’t know where I will find the information, and I even don’t know if what I am looking for exists.

Twitter Search (ex-summize) is clearly the best known example of Real-time Search and Collecta is a good “cross-services” examples. I wouldn’t call any of them search engines, but rather “filters”.

In both cases, I do searches about things that are happening (Jackson’s death, Palin’s resignation…), which proves they exist. I also tend to know what I’ll find : images, links to more in-depth articles… etc. I am just trying to “filter” the stream of information, not searching for an answer.

In the end, both traditional search-engines and real-time filters have to deal with relevance, but I think the user’s expectations are very different in both cases. What do you think?

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Previously, on the Superfeedr blog: Speeding Up RSS : what for?.