Today’s Content Relevant to Tomorrow’s Real-Time Searches
We all know that social media is "where it’s at" these days. People are spending more and more of their time on social networking sites. Many are checking their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts before even checking their email (or even getting out of bed in some cases).
Real-time search, while still in its infancy (if not in utero), is on the rise, and people are searching for up-to-the-minute, what’s happening right-now results for many of their every day queries. Real-time search isn’t a replacement for Google, its a compliment. That’s why Google knows it needs to gravitate in its direction and offer as fresh of results as possible, particularly when relevant.
Google already has a "sorted by date" feature (under "recent results") in its list of search options that users can use to customize their search experience. The jury is still out on how frequently these search options are and will be used, but that option’s there, and chances are that it will get better at indexing fresh content. Chances are also that more and more people will realize that option is available. It hasn’t been around that long yet.
People aren’t just searching on Google and the traditional search engines. They’re searching on social networks too. You know about Twitter’s real-time search, and Facebook recently rolled it out too. Facebook also acquired FriendFeed, which utilizes pretty much every other social network out there.
I’ve already written about why social media is only going to become more important to search, but it’s not just about search. It’s about the way people obtain, absorb, and relay information. They’re doing it on Twitter. They’re doing it on Facebook. They’re doing it on MySpace, and they’re doing it on plenty of other networks (and believe it or not, they’re still doing it through email too).
These are the reasons your content should be as shareable as possible. If you want more people to see it, word of mouth is just as important as search. Social media is the word of mouth of the web.
Include buttons and icons that make your content easy to share on social networks. "Post to Facebook," "Retweet," "Digg," etc. are all buttons that can put your content a click away from going viral. Obviously the content has to be up to par for this to work.
This can work in your favor on down the road as well as the present. Even if an article is a month or a year old, if it is still relevant, someone may happen across it and tweet it or share it some other way. This will not only place your content within the streams of that person’s followers/friends, but also on the radar of any related real-time searches taking place.
Real-time search isn’t just about what’s happening right now. It’s also about what people are talking about right now. It’s up to you to provide content that people will still be talking about later. Giving easy access to sharing features will only ease the way.
How important to you think real-time search is to the future of online marketing? Share your thoughts.