In case you haven’t opened your Gmail account in the past week, on February 9th, Google released its brand new social platform, Google Buzz. Buzz is Google’s approach to sharing relevant information that matters most to you and your contacts. So what’s all the buzz about? Google is the search leader and they do it extremely well. Twitter and Facebook are the social media leaders and serve their platforms very well. Can Google do search and social media? Can they succeed or will Buzz turn into another Google Wave? These latest developments are still evolving but long-term SEO prevails in the organic search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google introduces real-time search
In early December 2009, Google announced real-time search in the SERPs. Real-time search allows you to see up to the second updates about whatever you might be searching for. As an example, on Friday morning I started searching for Tiger Woods an hour before his big 11 AM (est) press conference. Google’s real-time search was buzzing with countless reports from Twitter and news feeds about the highly anticipated conference. Everyone was speculating what he might say and do, and this was all before Tiger even stepped in front of the microphone. Real-time search is a great way for users to stay informed on the latest developments about their searches.
Google Buzz vs Twitter in real-time search
Since Twitter is the main feed for Google’s real-time search, it would only make sense that Google will begin to feed the real-time search results with Buzz content. But if Buzz would have been released several months ago, would we have seen a mix of Twitter/Buzz posts about Tiger on Friday? What about only Buzz posts and no Twitter Posts? Is Google just using Twitter to promote real-time search and then Google will change their search algorithm to discount Twitter content from the search results and only credit Buzz content? Let’s look at the numbers. Twitter has roughly 75 million participants where as Google has about 175 million Gmail users who were automatically signed up for Buzz. So with an estimated 100 million more users providing content (assuming people begin using Buzz and don’t opt out), Google’s algorithm could show Twitter the door when it comes to real-time search results.
Role of SEO amid Google’s enhancements
As an SEO expert at Fluency Media, I look to stay on top of the latest search engine algorithm changes for our clients, and these recent developments by Google intrigue me. I think incorporating Google Buzz into real-time search benefits the user searching as the results are the most up-to-date information. It could be argued that making user relevant real-time searches with Buzz more static at the top of the SERPs might be Google’s next big search engine algorithm change. Keep in mind that Google’s algorithm for Buzz is centered around relevancy to the user. However, the content currently in real-time search lacks the long-term SEO value to maintain at the top of the SERPs. As Google evolves, what direction do you think they are headed in with these developments?