Posted by: cindystephenson | December 16, 2009

Why Google’s Real Time Search is a Potential Game Changer

Google launches Real Time Search Results

Google recently announced it was adding live updates from social networking sites such as Twitter and FriendFeed to its search results page. That means that in addition to news headlines and blog posts, you can also see a dynamic stream of real-time content.  Click on “Latest results” or select “Latest” from the search options menu to view a full page of live tweets, blogs, news and other web content scrolling right on Google.  Depending on the topic, the live search results may show up ahead of a company’s official website.

This is a nice feature if you’re looking to find out what people are saying about a current hot topic.

Challenging however, if your organization or business is the subject of that conversation.

image of reporter writing in notebook

What does it mean from a reputation management perspective?

Say someone has a beef with your organization and decides to vent on Twitter. Others join in reporting similar experiences. Until now, this would have stayed on Twitter. Then someone else, unaware of the first person’s issue, searches on Google for your website to get product information. In addition to the product information, they may also see the live twitter stream of complaints.

If you’ve ignored social networking sites until now, not sure of their benefit, or reluctant because of the time involved, this move by Google has changed the game. You can no longer sit back.

A good way to start would be by familiarizing yourself with three sites that help you track what people are saying: Twitter Search, Monittor, and Social Mention. Twitter search lets you see what people are saying on a particular topic in real time; Monittor is a Twitter search engine that lets you track three phrases at a time and limit your searches to a specific geographic region;  and Social Mention has a feature whereby you can receive updates of mentions by email.

These are all good ways to monitor what others are saying about you. Make it part of your routine, the same way you monitor traditional media sources. And it’s a good way to break in to social media.

Photo credit: alex-s

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