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Why Google’s Real-Time Search is More Trouble Than It’s Worth

Walker Sands

Walker Sands

Recently, the blogosphere was a buzz with the news that Google would be integrating real-time search. In the simplest description, real-time search basically means as you Tweet, Google has taken notice and your tweet can appear in search. Of course it applies to myriad other services beyond Twitter, but for the sake of discussion, that’s what it does.

At first glance, this seems really cool because it catalogs info quickly from the social media space – and other internet realms – in an easy to locate format. But, this real-time search is absolutely the single most annoying addition to Google’s suite… for Google Alert users.

I regularly used Google Alerts to track buzz about my clients at Walker Sands. Google Alerts have generally been a pretty good way to keep an eye on placements, in a free setting. Of course, we use clipping services to really track the buzz, but for a quick little notification, Google Alerts were the best.

Now that real-time search is integrated, I get Google Alerts on tweets, LinkedIn updates and all kinds of other stuff that I don’t care to have e-mailed to me. It has basically taken the once succinct, easy to glance at service and made it a flood of information that is almost too overwhelming to really do anything with. I’m starting to think, like the Bing commercials, that Google is horrible at giving me relevant search results. Now, I’m spending countless amounts of time trying to flip through Google Alerts to figure out what’s worthwhile and what isn’t.

I have since switched my Google Alerts off and instead take some time every few days to just do a good old Google search – or Bing for that matter. I just can’t handle being inundated with so many pointless e-mails.

And honestly, how many of you actually utilize Google to find out the most recent Tweets? Is this service really necessary and or valuable?

I’m trying to find a good solution to this problem until Google wises up and decides to do something about Google Alerts. Has anyone else run into this problem? What are you doing to solve it? Any ideas are much appreciated.