Google passed a pair of mile markers on the road to real-time search this week, debuting the much-hyped Twitter integration for both consumers and enterprise users.
The No. 1 search engine had put the world on notice that real-time results were coming to its flagship Google.com site, holding an event on Monday at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to show members of the mediawhat the feature would look like. But it had been unclear how soon Twitter streams, social media posts and news headlines would arrive on Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Now, they're here. But it's not just the consumer Web that's in line for Google's real-time makeover. The company is also now making the feature available on the Google Search Appliance, Google's enterprise search tool that indexes documents, databases, intranets and other business information.
"Social information is important for businesses," Cyrus Mistry, Google's product manager for enterprise search, wrote in a blog post. "Employees searching for information needed to do their jobs benefit from real-time news, too."
For GSA users, the integration appears within search results' Related Web Results section, which presents a list of real-time data from Google.com alongside internal company information. Admins will be able to disable the feature if they wish.
"Customers have told us that placing Web results next to intranet ones often allows employees to think differently about a particular topic and approach it in new ways," Mistry said. "By integrating enterprise search with more of the information that exists in the cloud, like tweets, employees can more easily leverage the wisdom of the crowd."
On the public Google.com, searches for a hot topic in the news like, say, "Tiger Woods" or "climate change," display a box marked "latest results" toward the top of the page, with a scrolling list of continuously updated links to new posts on the topic from around the Web.
Google had announced its Twitter integration in October, just hours after Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) put out word that it had struck a similar deal for its own Bing search engine. Then on Monday, Google announced partnerships with a spate of social hubs like Facebook, MySpace and FriendFeed to import status updates and other content from those sites into its real-time search feature.