Yahoo Rolling Out Something Kind of Like Real-Time Search

    December 10, 2009
    Chris Crum

Reports indicate that Yahoo will be rolling out its own version of real-time search results today. Google of course did this earlier in the week, but Yahoo’s offering will not exactly be real-time.

Google has access to Twitter’s firehose (although everybody will have access next year) because the two companies entered an agreement recently. Yahoo doesn’t have access to that, and is just relying on its own algorithms to deliver recent tweets at the bottom of search results.

Whereas Google’s feature includes tweets, Facebook updates, and a variety of other sources, it looks like Yahoo’s  just sticking with tweets for the time being. Yahoo recently started including Twitter results as an option for news-related searches. They introduced a tabbed user interface, which allows the user to choose from news, photos, videos, or Twitter results.

It’s hard to consider what Yahoo’s currently doing real-time search, because the Twitter results will be static due to that lack of Firehose access. Google’s real-time results flow in as they are posted to the web, in a more "real-time" fashion. In other words, you see them as they are created (there may be some delay factor on that. I’m not sure).

Tiger Wood in Real Time Search

Meanwhile, Microsoft made deals with Facebook and Twitter around the same time Google made its Twitter deal, but we are yet to really see the results of that. Bing does have a Twitter search feature, but it is separate from the Bing engine itself, and does not integrate the real-time results into the SERPs like Google is doing.

Bing also has recent Tweets appear in results for some well-known name searches, but even these are hardly real-time, as they are static and often not truly the most recent tweets from that person. It’s more along the lines of what Yahoo is doing now.

I have no doubt that Microsoft will be doing more with the real-time search functionality, and something may roll out anytime, but right now, it appears they are falling a bit behind in that regard. As far as Yahoo is concerned, Yahoo Search should be replaced by Bing functionality sometime soon anyway, as a result of that Yahoo-Microsoft deal, which was recently finalized.

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