If you missed it last week, Google revealed a new permanent home for its real-time search results at www.google.com/realtime. Here you’ll find the latest news stories, blogs and social comments (mostly tweets) for whatever topic you search for. Google first added real-time search for social media last year.
I tried searching for “HP” today and found mostly Twitter results but the page offered a nice timeline as well that allowed me to see the collective mentions of the company since the beginning of 2010; there was a telltale spike in mentions around early August when the software company’s CEO resigned. A search for “BP” shows minimum results until you hit April 2010. You can also set up Google Alerts for specific real-time searches and search by locality.
Most large organizations already deploy sophisticated analytic tools either in-house or through their search, marketing or PR firm to track brand mentions. Social media listening tools began jumping onto the scene as Twitter heated up as well over the last two years. However, the new Google real-time search can offer a marketer a quick snapshot of what’s happening with their brand, as well as a way to track spikes in customer feedback (complaints). PC World’s Tony Bradley is one such fan. From a column he wrote August 27:
Companies can use information gleaned from Google Realtime to “read the minds” of consumers. Conducting searches related to current or planned products or services can help identify what customers want and what concerns they might have.
As the next-generation Kindle launches today, e-reader rivals like Barnes and Noble and Sony can use Google Realtime to monitor real-world comments and feedback about the device. The information will let them know what the target audience likes about the new Kindle, as well as what customers still feel it’s lacking or wish it had–enabling them to apply that information to their next e-reader models and stay a step ahead of consumer demand.
Check out the demo from Google below.