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In keeping with the growing importance of real-time search results, Google on Thursday gave real-time search its own home.
Responding to the surging popularity of social media and the increasingly dynamic nature of the Web, Google first started including real-time search results on its search results page in December, 2009. In April, 2010, the company expanded its temporal focus beyond the moment and allowed users to search through and to replay past Twitter posts.
Google Realtime Search resides at www.google.com/realtime, where it offers several new features. It can also be reached through the "Updates" link in the left-hand pane of Google's search results window. Google product manager Dylan Casey characterizes the changes as "our most significant enhancements to date."
The new capabilities include the ability to refine real-time search results by geography, which can be accomplished both through the selection options menu in the left-hand search pane and via the place links included with some real-time search results.
Google has also made it easier to track an entire Twitter thread, the tweets, re-tweets and other replies, through a link titled "Full Conversation" that accompanies certain real-time search results.
Finally, Google has integrated its real-time coverage with Google Alerts, its e-mail notification service. Users can now create alerts for keywords appearing in "Updates" -- posts to Twitter, Facebook, and the like -- and receive immediate or delayed summary e-mail notifications with links to the relevant information.
Google Realtime Search and updates in Google Alerts are available in 40 different languages. The ability to refine real-time search results by geography and conversation tracking are presently limited to English, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.