Google Finally Steps Out of Dark Ages With New Search

newspapersNow that Twitter and Facebook have become our freshest sources for up-to-the-minute news, it was only a matter of time before Google caught up. The search engine giant has announced they've revised their search algorithm to make results more timely. The tweak is said to affect 35 percent of our queries. The hope being that now, when we go to search something that's happened in the last hour (a baseball game, an Apple product announcement, or a speech from President Obama), we won't be getting a slew of results about stale news from days and days ago. (Say you want a recap of last night's Project Runway, and Google insists on giving you something from last week or two weeks ago?! So frustrating!)

This development is obviously HUGE for those of us who eat, breathe, live on current headlines! But ... I have to wonder. What took so damn long, Google?

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Back in the summer, everyone who wasn't "lucky" enough to feel that weird earthquake that hit the East Coast found out about it on Facebook or Twitter. For 15 minutes ... 20 minutes ... maybe even a half hour after the tremble, go-to Google had nothin' to say on the topic. BAD sign!

Yeah, there's a time and a place for "citizen journalism" (aka those photos you took of a branch that had fallen on your car during last weekend's Snowtober storm). But our Facebook friends or that annoying as hell Facebook Ticker shouldn't be our go-to news source! Twitter can't give us enough info in 140 characters or less, and as a conduit to other news sources, it's fine, but it's also a bit unwieldy as far as being able to narrow your results to the exact story you're looking for. Google, on the other hand, is supposed to be the be all and end all way to find ANYTHING. So the fact that it hasn't -- until now -- been able to provide us with that "anything" as quickly as, say, Facebook or Twitter is kinda crazy!

Hopefully, though, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Google. I want to depend on it for my breaking news. I'd rather see a news ticker on Google than anywhere else on the web (especially my Facebook feed!). Instead of "Easter eggs" and cutesy Google Doodles, it's about time they start filling the role they could do better than any other site on the web -- being THE provider of real-time news.

Do you ever get frustrated with Google's search results being stale? What do you think about this change?

 

Image via Jon S/Flickr

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