Google Delivers Real-Time Search, Buzz API Improvements

Google updates the Google Buzz API and follows up on its real-time search efforts by giving Google Realtime Search its own address.

Google has delivered on its promise to provide real-time search by giving Google Realtime Search its own address.

The search giant initially delivered real-time search features to users in December 2009.

Back then, "Our goal was to provide real-time content from a comprehensive set of sources, integrated right into your usual search results," Dylan Casey, product manager for Google Realtime Search, posted Aug. 26 on the Official Google Blog. "Today we're making our most significant enhancements to date, giving real-time information its own home and more powerful tools to help you find what you need. Now you can access Google Realtime Search at its own address, (the page is rolling out now and should be available soon. Use this link if you want to try out the new features right away)."

Casey continued, "In addition, we've added a conversations view, making it easy to follow a discussion on the real-time Web. Often a single tweet sparks a larger conversation of re-tweets and other replies, but to put it together you have to click through a bunch of links and figure it out yourself. With the new 'full conversation' feature, you can browse the entire conversation in a single glance. We organize the tweets from oldest to newest and indent so you quickly see how the conversation developed."

Also, Casey said, Google has provided other new "tools to help you refine and understand your results," including geographic tools so users can "find updates and news near you, or in a region you specify."

Moreover, he said, Google has "added updates content to Google Alerts, making it easy to stay informed about a topic of your choosing. Now you can create an alert specifically for 'updates' to get an e-mail the moment your topic appears on Twitter or other short-form services. Or, if you want to manage your e-mail volume, you can set alerts to e-mail you once per day or week."

He continued, "Realtime Search and updates in Google Alerts are available globally in 40 languages, and the geographic refinements and conversations views are available in English, Japanese, Russian and Spanish."

Speaking of Alerts, Google has made some changes to Google Buzz API, including the addition of a new Track feature.

In an Aug. 26 post on the Google Code Blog, Ivaylo Popov of the Google Buzz team said:

"Let's say you're really interested in coffee and tea and would like to know every time someone talks about them. You've been able to do that for the web with Google Alerts. Now you will be able to do the same thing for Google Buzz with our latest feature: Track. Plus, you can restrict your search to a specific geographic area! This API will allow you to enter a search query and from then on receive any new public Google Buzz posts-in real time-that match that query. It uses PubSubHubbub, which is the same open standard used by our fire and garden hoses."

Wikipedia describes Google Buzz as "a social networking and messaging tool from Google that is integrated into the company's Gmail Web-based e-mail program, Gmail. Users can share links, photos, videos, status messages and comments organized in 'conversations' and visible in the user's inbox."

According to Popov, "To start receiving updates, you only need to send a query to the track endpoint, subscribe to the returned link, and then start receiving updates. If you'd like to take it for a quick spin, simply subscribe to a track endpoint via Google Reader (which happens to support PubSubHubbub)."