Tag Archives: real time

Digital Marketing

Google Realtime now has its own homepage

Last year we brought you news about a new type of search engine results called ‘Real time‘. The whole point of realtime search was to let you search the web for stuff going on right now. This is in contrast to the normal search results, which can show you a list comprised of websites ranging from a couple of weeks to several years old.

Google and Bing stoked their real time arms race by including results for Twitter. We had some fun showing how our Tweets were showing up in live on the Google Results Page.

Getting Twitter Results in the main search results was a bit confusing. For that reason, and perhaps to highlight its commitment to realtime, Google have decided that these results deserve their very own homepage.

Google have also added a raft of tools to help customise the results.

To start with, you can refine the results to focus just on your location or a geographical area you specify. It also has a ‘conversation view’ which lets you follow an actual discussion on a real-time web service such as Twitter. The data is organised from oldest to newest.

Google has added real-time content to its Google Alerts service, so you can now be made aware if a subject appears on Twitter.

Here’s a video explaining how you can get more out of it.

Is realtime any worthwhile? Are you interested in seeing results for the real-time web? Is this just of passing interest or does it offer any practical help to your use of Google? Leave us a comment below.

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Digital Marketing Social Media

Google starts to include Facebook updates in the real-time search results

A couple of months ago, Google (and Yahoo and Bing for that matter) started to include ‘real-time updates from Twitter in the search results. This meant that you could see what people were saying – right now – about the keyword that you’d just searched with.

For a couple of days the real time results were at the top of the page. Following comments that this was confusing for users they disappeared altogether. They’ve now reappeared – for some search categories like ‘brand’ keywords, about half way down the page.

Updates from Facebook

Google has now taken real time and social media integration one step further, by including updates from Facebook pages.

To start with, Google will only include updates from 3m Facebook Pages including those for businesses, brands and celebrities. It won’t include those from the 397m rest of us.

Apparently Facebook has already struck a deal with Bing (owned by Microsoft) to include real-time updates from all 400m users. Its not yet live on the site though.

A good opportunity for Website Owners

At the risk of sounding like a scratched record, this is a great opportunity if you’re a business or website owner. Sign up to Twitter; set up a Facebook page for your business. Engage and interact with your users on both. If you’re not sure what to say then read our guide on what to say on Twitter. The more positive conversation you can generate around your brand or website, the more positive comments users will see when they search for you online.

Let us know what you think below

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Softwate Update

Results for the WebEden Twitter Background Competition

Happy New Year to all WebEden Website Builders!

Last month we held a competition to design a new Twitter background for WebEden.

This was as a response to Google’s ‘real time’ indexing of users’ Twitter Profiles:  We found that that the WebEden Twitter profile was appearing at the top of Google after searches for ‘WebEden’.

As pointed out by Phil Evans at Fractal Design, this makes it all the more important to have a high quality Twitter background that makes it obvious what it is that you do!

Here are all the entries we received:


Thanks to everyone who entered! We are very impressed with your efforts and design skills, and appreciate you getting involved. The good news is that these were viewed a total of 2,300 times.

The entry that has been chosen as winner is by Charlotte Shirley from jelliltd.com. Congratulations to Charlotte! You get a £20 voucher… and of course the delight of seeing your design in situ!

Here’s a screengrab of Charlotte’s design:

You can check out her design on the WebEden Twitter profile page.

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Softwate Update

Want to design a new Twitter background for WebEden?

Design a new Twitter background for WebEden and win a £20 voucher!

The big news this week is that Google has started indexing Twitter profiles.

This means that your Twitter feed is in many cases at the top of the Search Engine Results Page for your Brand searches. This is certainly the case for WebEden – read yesterday’s post for more details.

This means that when people search for you, there is a raised likelihood that they will click on your Twitter profile rather than your actual Website.

As @evans_above pointed out today, this means that its very important “to use twitter well to promote links and your website address”.

Which has got me thinking. I’m not sure that our Twitter background showcases WebEden to best effect. Have a look for yourself:

Its a bit small. Its not clearly defined. And its a bit fuzzy.

So we’re throwing the doors open to you creative lot: How do you want to have a go at designing a new Twitter background for WebEden?

We’re after something:

  • big, clear, bold;
  • uses our colours
  • conveys the message that anyone can build a website with WebEden
  • Displays a link to our website and our blog URL
  • Includes our phone number

Anyone want to have a go at designing one?

I can’t promise you riches but I can promise that we’ll pick the best and use it – so you get to see your work up and on display. And we’ll also make sure you get plenty of credit, a blog post about you, and some Tweets promoting your work. Oh go on then: a £20 high street voucher too. Why not?

Please send all entries to ken@webeden.net by the 30th of December. And if you’re interested why not leave a comment below or reply @webeden on Twitter.

Update: 14.12. 09: Here’s the entries so far – let us know which you like best by voting!










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Digital Marketing

Real time search is Here (on Google)

As we spoke about yesterday, Google has made its latest bid to deliver up-to-the-minute results. It was just earlier this year Twitter fired the starting pistol in the race to deliver ‘real time’ content in the Search Engine Results Pages. A few months later all three major search engines announced deals to integrate Twitter content into the the main search index.

It seems like Google is first across the finish line (or is it just the half way point?) in the real time sprint.

At an event this week, the search engine showcased plans to increasingly surface messages from social networks in the main Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

The whole aim is to make sure users see the latest information about a brand or product by pulling in the latest entries from social networks, news sites and blogs.

And yesterday we saw the result of the changes. At the top of the SERPs for the keyword ‘webeden’ we saw that latest conversations that were happening on the WebEden Twitter profile. Users had the option of clicking ‘latest results’ to see many more more of those updates.

This is what it looked like:

Google say that they will continue to augment the SERPs with a string of updated messages. And it’s all because people are using their social networks to talk about events as they happen. Google want that chatter to be available to people searching on Google, so that when an event happens people think ‘Google’ and not just ‘Twitter’ or ‘facebook’.

“Information is being posted at a pace I have never seen before. In this information environment, seconds matter.” said Google executive Amit Singhal.

Here’s the official Youtube video about real time results:

What do you think of Real Time search? Genuinely useful or a bit of ‘nice to have’ fluff? Leave us a comment below.

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Digital Marketing

Google integrates Twitter feed in Results Page

Have you tried searching for ‘WebEden’ on Google?  Here’s what the results page for searches for ‘WebEden’ looks like:

Can you see the bit that I’ve marked in a red box? That’s a completely new feature from Google that went live just this morning.

Google is pulling in the Twitter profile for WebEden and placing it at the top of the results page. Google announced just this week at a big search event that they were about to introduce this feature, and its nice that WebEden is one of the first brands to see it live in action.

What does this mean if you have a Twitter profile?

Well for starters it means that people may well be diverted away from visiting your website and choose to click on your Twitter profile instead.

On the downside it means that you may get less visitors to your website.

On the upside its an opportunity to showcase your customer communication skills to best effect. If a user sees your Twitter profile and is impressed with the community support you’re giving, they may be more likely to buy from you.

The obvious pitfall is that any bad news or negative or unprofessional Twitter comments will be immediately visible to people who are looking for you.

Oh and one more thing.

If you want to get your Twitter profile to number 1 spot for searches for ‘webeden’ then lets start having a conversion on Twitter right now! Search for ‘webeden’ again and you will be able to see our conversion in the Search Engine Results page!

See you on Twitter in a few minutes!

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Google Products Social Media

Google & Microsoft stoke up ‘Real time’ battle by… doing exactly the same deal with Twitter

A couple of months ago we talked about the ‘Real time’ battle being played out by Google and Microsoft. The emergence of Twitter has a search engine that can tell you what people are discussing right now, made both Google and Microsoft to develop their own angle on ‘real time’

Whilst Microsoft’s Bing opted to include Tweets from prominent Twitters within their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), Google decided to rapidly index and promote blog posts and other recently added online content.

Both major players have now elected to try and beat each other at the Real Time game by… doing exactly the same thing. A couple of week’s ago they announced that they would feature live Tweets from the full Twitter index.

This is how Paul Yiu from Bing put it: “Twitter is producing millions of tweets every minute on every subject you can imagine. The power of those tweets as a form of data that can be surfaced in search is enormous… Working with those clever birds over at Twitter, we now have access to the entire public Twitter feed and have a beta of Bing Twitter search for you to play with.” The service is currently only available in the US.

And on the same day, this is what Marissa Mayer from Google had to say “We have reached an agreement with Twitter to include its updates in our search results. We believe our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months.”

Bing is already starting to include Twitter results in the US. In the UK we have to wait; and everyone has got to wait a while for Google,

Seeing as they have decided to do exactly the same thing, the winner will probably the search engine that chooses the most effective integration. Twitter produces a lot of ‘noise’ – irrelevant or irreverent Tweets that people may well not find useful to see in the SERPs.

As for what it means to website builders and your social media strategy, this means that is going to be more important than ever to make sure you are effectively using Twitter to communicate with your website visitors about your website. If you use Twitter as a customer service and communication tool, more people than ever will witness your customer care. As we discussed previously, the SERPs for your brand searches influence a lot of potential visitors to your website. More than ever they need to see that yours is a website that they want to interact with.

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Digital Marketing

Cuil is back. For real (time).

Although most of us only have eyes for Google, there’s a new search engine that launches almost every month. The recent high profile launches were WolframAlpha – not strictly a search engine but a ‘knowledge engine’ – and of course Microsoft’s ‘Bing’.

Most of these search engines come and go. And that’s not because they aren’t always good; but because it’s not easy to convert people from their tried and tested brands (Google). It takes not just a good product, but a much better product. And a lot of marketing money too.

So it was with some excitement that last July the market greeted ‘Cuil’. Here was a new search engine built by some ex-Google employees that had all the promise of a giant killer. It had a cool, leftfield name, the right backers, and the kind of buzz that only Silicon Valley can produce.

So it was disappointing to find that Cuil went off with more of a whimper than a bang. Despite the huge level publicity, a year later search traffic has fallen to just 90,000 unique users.

But now Cuil is now back, and trumpeting a real-time search feature that it hopes will help to catapult it into the search big-league. As we discussed recently, real time is becoming a major battle ground for search engines. And with the acquisition of FriendFeed, even Facebook is muscling in on the act.

On Cuil, when you search for keywords that also have real time results, Cuil automatically creates a mini-toolbar that shows how many real time results it has found.

You can then expand the toolbar to show just a sample of results both blogs and news websites, which gives an indication of how ‘hot’ that topic is.

As a user, you can then choose to open the toolbar in a pop up, which allows you to monitor the topic on an ongoing basis.

What not take a look at Cuil and let us know what you think. Can Cuil’s Real Time features save it from the search engine scrap heap? Has the real-time SERPs been over-hyped? Leave us a comment below

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Digital Marketing

The fastest growing search engine? No its not Bing, its Facebook

When you think ‘search engine’ what brand springs to mind? For almost all of us it’s Google. This is especially so in the UK, where Google powers around 90% of all Internet searches. Some of you may still think ‘Yahoo’. And a few pioneers might think ‘Bing’.

But according to the ComScore monthly search report, its Facebook that is experiencing the fastest growth as a search engine. Search volumes on Facebook grew by a massive 35% in July alone.

Other brands experiencing strong growth in search were Craigslist (8%), eBay and Bing (5%), Flickr and Delicious (4%) and YouTube (1%).

The growth in these brands not normally associated with search queries was very much at the cost of the traditional search engines. Google fell 2%, AskJeeves 4%, and Yahoo and AOL dropped 5% each.

In terms of absolute numbers, the traditional search engines still rule the roost. In July there were 12.9 billion searches on Google; 2.8 billion on Yahoo; and Microsoft sites accumulated 1.3 billion searches.

Google of course is fiercely protecting its users’ ‘eye-time’. They have recognised the huge revenue potential of social networking, by adding lots of sticky and social features to their web properties. The most recent defensive move was their shift to feature ‘real time‘ entries in the search engine results page. But if Facebook search continues to grow at this rate, it might be that Google will have to start to defend its pure search homeland.

And it seems that Facebook has real ambition when it comes to search. Facebook recently bought FriendFeed and also expanded its own services, which has boosted its ability to provide real-time search.

A few weeks ago Facebook unveiled a new search service that allows members to search for status updates, links, photos and videos. Whilst previously users could find entries for other users’ profiles, the new Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) serve them in categories depending on the search query.

Have you tried searching on Facebook? Do you think that Facebook could be a serious rival to Google when it comes to search? Do you think Facebook will be able to monetise their new services? Leave us a comment below.

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Social Media

Twitter: Redesigned & Refocused

The Twitterverse are wise too it, and even occasional tweeters are by now aware: the Twitter homepage has had a make over.

The changes are designed to help newbies find their way around the service, and understand what Tweeting is all about.

On his blog, Co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone said: “Helping people access Twitter in more relevant and useful ways upon first introduction lowers the barrier to accessing the value Twitter has to offer and presents the service more consistently with how it has evolved”.

Erm. Right.

He also said that Twitter had changed focus from a “rudimentary social tool based on the concept of status messages” into “a new kind of communication and a valuable source of timely information.”

And he added, in case we weren’t all having a good time:  “Also its fun.”

There’s no doubt that what people are Tweeting about varies hugely. Just have a glance at the ‘trending topics’ for sample of this. At the same time that some are talking about Iran, others are on about blue M&Ms.

The really big change, and the one that has got all the marketers excited, is the refocusing of the homepage into a search box. ‘Real time search’ – finding out what people are talking and writing about right now – is where it gets interesting. Giving businesses the chance to tap into this is where the money is going to be for Twitter.

This change is also reflected in the more weighty strapline. Twitter has gone from “What are you doing?” to “share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.”

This is the first of many steps that Twitter is taking to hit its user target of 1bn by 2013.

Have a look at the Twitter homepage. Does it make the point of Twitter a little bit more obvious? Leave us a comment below.

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