Google announced today that it has created a separate page for its real-time search feature, where users can view the most up-to-date search results from services like Facebook and (mostly) Twitter.
Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan wrote a post in June complaining about how difficult it is to actually find Google’s real-time results. So today’s announcement suggests that real-time search is being promoted from a slightly-hidden experiment to a full-fledged search feature like Google Images or Google News.
Google also announced some improvements that should make real-time search more useful. There’s a geographic filter, so that you can view updates from a specific region. There’s a “conversation view,” so that you can see a full exchange in Twitter, not just an isolated tweet stripped of context. (I’ve tested the conversation feature a little and it doesn’t seem to catch everything.) And you can also create Google Alerts tied to real-time search, so that you get email updates whenever your desired term pops up in the results.
The page should eventually be available at http://www.google.com/realtime, but apparently Google hasn’t made that webpage available to all users yet. I’m still getting an error page. In the meantime, the company is directing people to try out the new feature at this URL.