On 19 March 2010, Google released its real time indexing feature in South Africa. What this means for you is that you will now have the ability to search for content that was posted a few seconds ago. This is a major step forward for Google as they continue to dominate the market by systematically throwing out innovative features on a continuous basis.
How did Google do this?
This real time feature is made possible by using the open PubSubHubbub Atom protocol. To explain what PubSubHubbub is in short, it is a simple program that automatically pings subscribers of your website every time you post new content. This lets the subscribers know when they are needed to come crawl the site rather than the crawlers coming to your site intermittently looking for new information.
Real time indexing in Action.
I have to give Google credit here as I only refreshed the search a few seconds later whilst saving the first screen shot. With one of my tests conducted yesterday, Google had indexed my tweet around 3 seconds after posting it.
How do I see real time content in Google?
It’s easy enough. Go to Google, type in your search term or phrase. Once the results page is loaded, click on the “Show Options” link just above the results. Click on the “Latest” link and watch. Google will automatically refresh the results page as it finds new, real time content.
How do I get the content on my site to be indexed in real time.
If you have a WordPress blog hosted on WordPress, your site is already real time enabled. However, if you have a WordPress blog hosted on your own server, you will need to download a plugin called PuSHPress. This automatically sets up the PubSubHubbub protocol on your blog in order to make your content “real time enabled”.
If you do not have a WordPress enabled blog, but rather a normal site such as a company website, this would be more challenging. I have not tested this yet, but what I predict you would need to do is hire a web developer to automatically create and refresh the XML feed for your site every time there is new content. You would then need to locate a central hub for the feed in order for the aggregators, such as Google to subscribe to your feed via the hub. This may sounds Greek to you at the moment but I will cover this in more detail with my next article.
With everything moving at such a rapid pace on the internet these days, its getting harder to keep up with the constant flow of information while the world is getting as small as the office you are sitting in. I for one, am really glad to see Google finally introducing real time results. This changes the game for SEO companies as once again, (fresh) content is king.