Can my business use the new Real time search feature in Google?
Google announced Real Time search a couple of weeks ago, and while I was tempted to write about it when it first came out, I wanted to digest this new change to try and understand how we can use it for our online sales.
Of course as I type this post this morning, Google seems to have turned Real Time Search off!
It appears easy enough to appear in the real time search results – I managed to get a couple of Tweets to appear in the Google Results without too many problems.
Of course the problem is that they only sit there for a few seconds before decaying away as more real time results pile in on top of yours!
What used to be 'that's so 2008!' is now 'so, like, 20 seconds ago'! Pffft!
But even those few seconds in the spot-light could be very valuable...
That got me thinking. Let's say that there were a hundred thousand people who had just searched Google for 'Tiger Woods', and my Tweet appeared for 10 seconds or so. That means it received a potential one million seconds (or 277 hours) of 'air time'. That's pretty good value.
But before you go haring off spamming Twitter to get your business in front of millions of pairs of eyes (for 10 seconds), don't go changing your whole online marketing strategy just yet!
Our next test will be to see how much traffic will we actually receive from a Tweet on a strongly trending topic.
We might do a couple of Tweets for "Tiger Woods" for example, and check our analytics data (and bit.ly data) to see how many people click on our link. But of course there are a lot of variables! How compelling is the Tweet, what value will it bring to the topic etc, etc. That's for your marketers to figure out! And they'll need to be creative, because if you're perceived to be spamming, I'd say you'll be banned for sure.
Just by extension, I think Real Time Search is going to create Real Time SEO. I think tools are probably being built as we speak to:
1. Figure out which search terms are triggering Real Time Search in Google, because obviously, not all searches bring up real time results in Google and Bing
2. How to get your results in front of lots of people.
Time will tell.
But as I blogged about last year, at the end of the day I still maintain that social media allows YOU to seek out people who have problems and help them solve them as politely as possible.
SEO/SEM works the other way; people have problems and they come looking for your solution (if they can find you).
You're in business to solve people's problems, and there are lots of ways you can go about that. Social media is just one method.
Both methods work in my opinion; a "gentle push" (social media) and "pull" (SEO/SEM) is what's required.