Real Time Search: The Race Is On

Real Time Search

One of the most competitive spaces these days seems to be real time information on the Web. Twitter came on the scene and was able to do wonders with real time searching. Breaking stories were found through this new phenomen of  “tweeting” and searching via hashtags (#) , so trending topics take higher rank in search results. The other big boys couldn’t sit back and watch though…it was only a matter of time before they jumped in on the real time search results action.

Facebook now offers real time search as well. Facebook allows you to search through status updates, shared media, and pages you follow. It also offers a tabbed approach to look through different categories of search (similar to images, documents, etc on Google). Users also have the ability to share updates with “Everyone” instead of just friends. Could there be any potential in being able to search friends of friend’s posts?  This would allow a much larger audience to be apart of the action, but who knows.

Google also has a new version that is testing now called Caffeine. It is supposed to be more real time search tool as well. Google’s plan is to have Caffeine be faster, more accurate, and return more results.

Read more to find out some of the not so well known players that have jumped on the real time search bandwagon over the past few months.  There is a brief description of the service with a few of my notes from visiting/testing each of the search engines. “Charles Gibson” was the main search phrase used, as he was recently replaced by Diane Sawyer, so results are reflective of that search.


Boiling Page

Boiling page pulls the “hottest” pages on the web by mining Facebook, Myspace, twitter etc. They also show recommended (related) pages to expand upon the topic searched. Users can subscribe to feeds of topics, which will then populate real time. Here are a few observations about Boiling Page:

  • Not a fan of the logo. Very unprofessional.
  • 5-10 second delay on returning results (if we are using Google as a baseline, not so good)r
  • Poor relevancy – Searched “Charles Gibson” when it was a trending topic on twitter. It was not in top search results at the time.
  • No auto-refresh – user has to be subscribed/registered for that topic/search to receive real-time updates
  • 2 minutes and counting….loading of recommended pages for one of Charles Gibson suggested pages


This site captures all URL’s that are tweeted within the twitterverse. Whether people link directly to the final URL, use TinyURL, Snipurl (snurl), or any other URL shortening service, it counts as a vote that gets added to that URL’s tally. To keep things fresh and the quality high, the Twitturly Top100 only shows the 100 most popular URLs over the last 24 hours.

  • Since August 24, there have been multiple issues/delays tattooed as a banner across top of site.
  • Search box should be more prominent
  • Came back with one relevant result (seems odd) for Charles Gibson. He is one of trending topics, so you would assume there would be more associated links.
  • Only incorporates twitter posts (which you can tell from the Site name)
  • Expand beyond twitter and incorporate other networks or sites

One Riot

OneRiot, a real time search engine, uniquely prioritizes its search results according to PulseRank, a real time ranking algorithm that delivers search results as they emerge, ordered to reflect current social relevance. The Real time search results show a real time stream of related web pages and videos that the social web is buzzing about right now for any search query. PulseRank Search Results – a feed of search results ordered by relevance using OneRiot’s PulseRank algorithm (This has to be as good as google’s algorithm to stand a chance).

  • Very obvious search area
  • Charles Gibson search with him retiring was first result (that’ what I was looking for) under Pulse Rank
  • On Real time, came up as 2nd result, still very relevant search
  • Ability to share where it has been posted (tweet, digg, etc)
  • Video search did not bring me the breaking news of Charles Gibson retiring (again what I was looking for and was trending at the time)


Collecta monitors the update streams of popular real time blogs and sites like Twitter, WordPress, and Flickr, and shows results as they happen. Results can be filtered by status updates, comments, stories, or photos. The entire engine is built around the XMPP standard, which pushes out data on a continual basis, so that for every search you end up watching a stream that keeps updating itself.

  • Presents stream as it comes in and filter by source
  • Constantly updating the stream, so it is representative of real time.
  • Ability to share the actual search or a search result  in real time
  • No ability to filter by relevance, which is a key feature
  • Comments didn’t seem to pick up directly relevant information for Charles Gibson search.


Scoopler is a real time search engine. It aggregates and organizes content being shared on the Internet as it happens, like eye-witness reports of breaking news, photos and videos from big events, and links to the hottest memes of the day. It does this by constantly indexing live updates from services including Twitter, Flickr, Digg, Delicious and more.

  • Charles Gibson search (main search, links, videos) all are very relevant and returned the retirement/replacement info that I was looking for
  • Popular searches are also present with main stream of results
  • Keeps track of your most recent searches in sidebar
  • Initial test a few weeks back ran very slow, that issue seems to be resolved
  • No images returned for Charles Gibson, which you can easily see exist within this Google Search.


Yauba is a new, experimental, Indian search engine that seeks to transform the way people find information online, while providing maximum protection for their safety, security and privacy.  As a result, Yauba offers some of the most advanced Internet technologies, features, and innovations in the world.

  • Aggregates streams from internet sites, Social News (like Digg), Blogs, Answers, Images, Videos, MS Office, Linkend In, etc.
  • Claim to be the only “privacy safe” search engine (we will see about that)
  • Easy ability to filter search
  • Multi-lingual search/results (12 languages)
  • Does not have real time updates
  • Searching “All Places” is an overabundance of information.


Popurls is the dashboard for the latest web-buzz, a single page that encapsulates up-to-the-minute headlines from the most popular sites on the internet.With the intention to get a quick glance on what’s happening on the web while keeping the common newsreader clean from short-term headlines, Popurls creates the original trend of “single page aggregators”. Rather than a tool, Popurls is considered as a gate to a highly selective collection of the most popular sites, presented in a usable way for every device & service.

  • Has a ton of information to sort through on the homepage, but many are very popular topics. Rollover article title has paragraph about the article for preview (ability to share)
  • Search is up to the hour with relevant results for Charles Gibson
  • Search results do not keep refreshing, so it is not pulling real time.


Cuil is the self-proclaimed world’s biggest search engine. Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When they find a page with your keywords, they stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency. Then they offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there.

  • Multi-lingual
  • Suggestive search is a nice (not new) feature.
  • Consistently updates every 15-30 seconds
  • It is more comparable to twitter search, not as user-friendly in my opinion.
  • Area for result display is very limited Hotness factor (assuming how often people are discussing it in real time)
  • Marketing made this popular since it was created by ex-googlers.

All in all, it definitely looks like there is room for improvement/growth in the real time search world. I don’t think any of these are Google killers for the time being, but some do have potential.  What are your thoughts on real time search engines?

Inspiration for this post from Techcrunch and Crunchbase

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