Where’s Bing’s Real-Time Search?

    August 11, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google is working on an update called Caffeine, which will increase the speed at which it indexes content. This could be a step toward Google’s incarnation of real-time search. Facebook has just started rolling out its own real-time search feature, much like Twitter’s, which has been around for some time. Facebook has also bought FriendFeed, which already has a good real-time search feature that searches content across many social sites, based on what its users share.

So here we are talking about the latest trend in search, and notice that Microsoft and Yahoo, the other two (besides Google) that make up the traditional "big 3" search engines, were not mentioned. Microsoft and Yahoo of course recently announced a big search deal, which will see Yahoo’s search results powered by Microsoft’s Bing, and Microsoft gaining access to Yahoo’s own search technology.

So where is the real-time search from them?

Microsoft hasn’t completely ignored real-time search. In July, Bing began some integration of Twitter results. But that can hardly be considered real time search. It only works when you search for select people, and even then, you won’t always get the freshest tweets from that person, and certainly not as it was tweeted.

Bing's Real-Time Search Results

Bing is also involved in a project called BingTweets with Federated Media and Twitter. BingTweets is basically a site that looks at Twitter trends, and features a window with tweets on certain topics as they roll in real time, and another window with Bing results. But it also lets you search for something and provides both Bing results and Twitter results. The two entities are separate from one another, and BingTweets itself is separate from Bing.com. Basically, it is just like performing a Twitter search and a Bing Search at the same time while having a window open for each.

These efforts are not going to compete with the offerings discussed above. Bing is really Google’s only competitor as far as traditional search at this point. Yahoo counts as Bing now (or will soon enough). If Google is moving toward incorporating real real-time results into its results, that is one more edge they will have on Bing (on top of that incredible market share it already holds), unless Bing really gets in on the real-time action itself.

Bing has been hot since its launch. It has managed to create a lot of buzz. This is the biggest area where Microsoft has failed in search in the past – creating buzz. If Microsoft (along with Yahoo) wants to truly give Google a run for its money, as it obviously does, they should probably start bringing something more to the table in real-time search.