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Real Time Search & Social Media: Time Waits For No Man

by James Ball on December 9, 2009

Go ahead; just watch it for a bit…think about what it all means. Think about the dissemination of information too, it’s what we are after, isn’t it? We want to scatter our own information, links, and logos in order to provide breadcrumb trails back to ourselves. The graphic tells us two things. One is that it’s working! The other is that we are not alone; countless others are doing it too.  Throw in mobile devices, news updates, press releases, websites, and all the rest, and I imagine that the eye couldn’t follow.

I’m not writing today just to show you a nifty gadget, though it is pretty cool. No, I’ve got the soapbox out again and I want to help you wrap your mind around something here. I brought in the social media counter because that’s what we’re all interested in. We’re in business, and we’re all trying to leverage social media to promote and grow our own businesses. I’ve said that we don’t have a choice, and that we have to be involved in the social web to stay competitive. In that same article, I mentioned that real-time search was just around the corner.  In a move on Monday, Google rounded that corner.

I’d very much like to join you in a rousing chorus of “SO WHAT?” but I can’t. For those of us with businesses and websites that rely on the Internet, and more specifically the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) for a large chunk of our traffic and revenue, this is a BIG RED FLAG. As real-time search evolves and propagates across the web, we need to be watchful. We can’t afford not to have a finger on the pulse here. There will be no playing catch-up with real-time search.

Search engine results pages pull from all sorts of meta, traffic, and link information to decide who gets to be where in line and on what page. Many of us have spent quite a bit of time and money toward this end. Get used to the idea that first page results will soon include relevant and moving results in real-time. Real-time results will be populated with information gathered based solely on the inclusion of a particular word or two. This information will be pulled from places like Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites and platforms. These are all places where much less thought has been put towards search engine optimization (SEO).

Keep your eyes on the real-time search topic, seek it out. It’s more than just another prediction for 2010, it’s happening now. Let’s be mindful of our tweets and assorted updates, keywords there are now more important than ever. I’m thinking that more attention needs to be placed on where we update, how often we do so, and the words that we string together. It’s also probably a good time to go in and check how well our breadcrumb trail is linked together. Consider all of the places and the ways that searchers might first encounter us, and let’s make sure that the path that leads is clear and direct.

Allow this to affect your letter to Santa as well. If you’re not already using a smart-phone to navigate the web/social media/email/Etc., now would be a great time to take that leap. This is all moving directly into the palm of your hand, and this too will be sooner rather than later.

***UPDATED 12/10/09

After posting this article yesterday, I found some very interesting articles that relate to this topic. In the interest of making this post as informative as it can be, here are links to some of the most thought provoking articles that I found:

And More From Today (I guess I’ll just keep adding as I find them!):

Is this all moving way too fast for you? Are you prepared to do more, and do it faster? I want to know how you see this impacting your business. If you have a plan, I’d sure like to hear it, leave me a comment!

Note: The counter is not real time, but as close as Gary could get using his sources.

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