When will Google get into real-time search? Soon enough.
Last week, both Bing and Facebook incorporated Twitter and Twiiter-like features into their services.
This week, Google's Marissa Mayer says Google finds real-time search "interesting," but she's still not spilling the beans on when Google will integrated the service into its search portfolio.
It ought to be soon. Google is still working on improving its voice and image search, but the search giant is still itching to add real-time to its portfolio.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Google's Vice President of Search Product and User Experience said:
"We think the real-time search is incredibly important, and the real-time data that's coming online can be super-useful in terms of finding out whether – something like, is this conference today any good? Is it warmer in San Francisco than it is in Silicon Valley? You can actually look at tweets and see those types of patterns emerge, so there's a lot of useful information about real-time interactions that we think ultimately will really affect search."
So will Google partner with Twitter? Mayer's not talking:
"I can't comment on any discussions that may or may not be happening between the companies. I can say that we think that real-time search is very interesting."
Though the search engine's alleged bid to purchase Twitter never materialized, integrating real-time content into Google is an increasingly important move for the search giant. And Google doesn't need to own Twitter to make that happen.
Speaking after the annual Google Zeitgeist conference in May, Google CEO Eric Schmidt reiterated the point, saying that Google doesn’t have to “buy everyone to work with them.”
And Google doesn't even need to work with Twitter to get what it wants from real-time data.
Microsoft's search engine Bing is trying to eat away at Google's search dominance, and has now started incorporating celebrity tweets into its search results. But Facebook went around Twitter entirely when it changed its privacy settings last week, making its status updates much more Twitter-like.
Googlers all talk positively about Twitter, but they don't neccessarily need to partner with the company to access real-time info. Google could easily incorporate Twitter updates into search, or come up with its own real-time search component independent of Twitter. As Schmidt said in May:
“Google has done a relatively poor job of creating things that work on a per second basis... people really want to do stuff in real-time and [Twitter has] done a great job about it… We will do a good job of things now we have these examples.”