Google Readying Bing, Twitter Countermeasures

    June 15, 2009

It’s no secret that real-time search is one of Google’s weak points.  Since Bing launched, fewer people have been willing to acknowledge Google as the best search engine overall, too.  But the search giant seems to be fighting back, as new reports have it addressing issues on both fronts. 

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Let’s start with real-time search.  Twitter’s search engine can show users things that were published just a minute or two ago.  Google Blog Search and Google News operate more in increments of quarter- or half-hours.  This seemed to allow for the possibility that Google might turn to Twitter for its expertise, or even that Twitter would dominate this one niche more or less unchallenged.

Over the weekend, though, Alex Chitu discovered a statement hidden away on a Google site that read, "This is the MicroBlogsearch Universal result group header text.  A Microblog is a blog with very short entries.  Twitter is the popular service associated with this format."  So Google appears to have an offering of its own in the works.

As for the Bing matter, James Doran reported, "Sergey Brin is so rattled by the launch of Microsoft’s rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent upgrades to his Web service . . . .  Brin, according to sources inside the tech behemoth, is himself leading the team . . ."

And although it’s well known that Brin isn’t the type of exec who sits in an office tending to paperwork all day, this sounds a bit unusual.  It looks like recent events are moving Google away from any semblance of complacency.