While there is no sign of panic yet, there is certainly evidence that established web giants such as Google and Facebook are frantically playing catch-up as the clamour for real-time search grows. Not only are there a range of tools to monitor Twitter in real-time there are browser add-ons that enable you to add Twitter search results to your Google results page. Why is Google being so slow to grasp the demand for real-time search?
The bottom line for journalists is that Google no longer has the best answer to the simplest question: ‘What are people saying about [my query] right now?’ For those of us steeped in Google search experience – it’s a scarey thought. Google is, apparently, working on a real-time offering but, in the meantime, are there competitors to the real-time results available from Twitter and the various Twitter monitoring tools available?
Here’s a heads up on four tools that don’t rely exclusively on Twitter and offer real-time monitoring for your search queries.
1 Collecta, just a few hours old, has the cleanest and most intuitive search page. Your search term is tracked and results listed in a central column. Clicking on those results gives you fuller content and a link to the source. The left hand column lists your recent queries and gives you the chance to include blogs, blog comments, images and updates (tweets) in your results. Collecta also tracks the time since your query. I’ve had impressive results so far.
2 Scoopler, has another crystal clear search page with the main section split between ‘real-time’ search results and ‘popular’ results that include content from news sites and videos. The ‘real-time’ results are drawn from Twitter, Digg, Delicious and other networking sites. This middle column gives you the options of previewing the posts or you can click through directly to Twitter profiles.
3 OneRiot, claims to do the same as Scoopler and Collecta but when I tried its ‘realtime’ search for results containing ‘tehran’ and ‘iran’ there weren’t a convincing number and they failed to appear with anything like the frequency I would have predicted. On the plus side, you can use its ‘pulse’ search option which uses an algorithm that looks at dozens of factors to give “weight” to certain results. OneRiot has used various factors to influence the weighting including: freshness; source credibility; and, ‘acceleration’ whereby posts that are gaining momentum (links) on the web are ranked as more important.
4 I looked at Icerocket in January. Not only has it set its blog search as its default option, it has also added a twitter search and a real-time ‘Big Buzz’ alternative. Big Buzz pulls in very recent results from blogs, Twitter, Video, News and Images and gives you an ‘auto refresh’ option to update those results every minute or so as you are working on a story.
I am @colinmeek on Twitter
Tags: blog search, collecta, crystal clear search page, Facebook, google, icerocket, intuitive search page, oneriot, real-time, real-time monitoring, real-time results, real-time search, scoopler, search experience, search option, search queries, search results, search term, Twitter, web giants