Posted by: Will | March 30, 2009

Earthquake in the Bay Area – Twitter Reports, Google Doesn’t Know

Twitter proves again it is the real-time web.

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit Northern California, minutes ago. After I felt the shake, Twitter confirmed it happened seconds later without me asking.

Twitscoop Showing the Most Tweeted Topic Now

Twitscoop Showing the Most Tweeted Topic Now

A quick search on Twitter gets me to relevant news and links from real people.

Twitter Search for "earthquake"

Twitter Search for "earthquake"

Google doesn’t even know that the earthquake occurred.

Google doesn't provide any relevant links for the earthquake

Google doesn't provide any relevant links for the earthquake

Here’s the most important point. 

Twitter told me about the earthquake before I asked.

Google did not know about it when I asked.


Responses

  1. Pretty cool confirmation of the value of real-time search. On the other hand, isn’t it also true that Google news syndication can push this info out “near” real-time?

  2. @Chris. Yes, good point. Google News is a bit more real-time.

    Here’s a Google News screenshot.
    http://www.twitpic.com/2lziw

    I see a few relevant articles but not as much information as on Twitter.

    Also, I still have to search on Google News, it doesn’t proactively tell me like Twitter did.

    Another interesting comparison.

  3. @Will
    while I do think that Twitter is in far better position to serve real-time search results, I tend to feel that it wold make better sense to use Google News Search rather than Google Web search for searching such events?

    Here’s the upshot: Twitter for searching real time events through off-the-cuff comments by common folks around the world. Google News for authoritative reporting on same event an hour later from mainstream media.

  4. […] and search, is not going anywhere (Good TIME article on this subject) and Google should be worried (Will O’Brien explains […]


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