Yahoo Forges Alliance With One-Riot

By keyurpatkeyurpat (1258303874|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Real-time Information and the Introduction of Real-time Search

What is real-time information? Simply put, it is the information that internet users are able to share real-time. Some of the most popular types of real-time information come in the form of Twitter messages or Facebook status messages. With real-time search, the latest news and updates can all be conveyed in a matter or seconds. Therefore, the introduction of real-time search (the search for this type of information) has changed the competitive landscape of the search industry. After all, what’s the point of waiting for the daily newspaper when you can almost effortlessly find it all online using real-time search?

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Yahoo and OneRiot

Sharing Information Real-time

Online growth has rendered users with dozens of sites where they can share real-time information. Just take a look at this graph that outlines the most popular methods of sharing for users:

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As you can see, the real-time giants, Facebook and Twitter, make up 30% of shared information…all real-time. There are many ways that users can share information, but the introduction of real-time search will only give Yahoo more options.

The OneRiot Real-time Search Engine

OneRiot is a real-time search engine that indexes links shared on Twitter, Digg and other social networking sites. The engine offers the option of searching for both web links and video links. Users can then sort the results by either pulse or real-time. This real-time search engine is also one of the most heavily funded real-time search engines, which is demonstrated by the convenient, easy-to-use interface.

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Yahoo and its Experiment

Yahoo’s partnering with OneRiot will allow the popular search engine to experiment with real-time information in its search results.

According to a statement, Yahoo explains the initiative as a “test configured to discover if showing such content is useful” and says that depending on the response it will later determine whether to include real-time results for all users. It comes as announcements by both Google and Microsoft last month that they would index real-time Tweets in their search engines.

Although I think a move like this would greatly impact Yahoo’s search engine, it will be difficult to determine how useful this type of information would be for individual users. According to Wall Street Journals', Jessica E. Vascellaro:

“Yahoo said the real-time shortcuts will only appear on certain search queries and that the company is still weighing whether to integrate the results across its user base,” so if you are looking for George Washington, you should not have to read about “dead president” Halloween costumes on Digg.

My Thoughts

I think that Yahoo’s decision to explore the possibilities of real-time search will greatly help the Bing-Yahoo alliance against Google. Sharing information has become a commonplace online and the major search engines need to adapt in order to remain competitive moving forward. However, I think that Yahoo will have to exploit this real-time information to find the most useful information for its users. Unfortunately, a majority of real-time search results are irrelevant and I think Yahoo has to work hard to overcome this limitation. It’s clear that real-time search could produce valuable information, particularly in the form of news, but I guess we’ll see how Yahoo and Google decide to integrate it into their search engines.

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