Google - News and ViewsGoogle’s Realtime search is no longer hidden but out in the open at http://www.google.com/realtime and boy, is it useful for businesses!

Although the full potential has yet to be explored, here are some potential uses:

  • Crisis Management – monitor what is being said on the Web about a crisis which your company is facing, which will allow you to hold online press conferences that cover the issues being spoken about, send out relevant press releases, and manage the crisis without having to make stabs in the dark about what people’s opinions are.
  • Customer service and CRM – is there are growing problem with a newly launched product? (Let’s take the iPhone antenna problem as an example of a rapidly spreading wave of dissension) Become aware of this almost instantly and you can begin to solve it before your helpline becomes inundated. Keep track of all customer comments, reviews and problems as, invariably in this day and age, your customers will seek the answer online.
  • Tie in Google Alerts with realtime and you will get breaking news on your keywords sent to your inbox. This has multiple uses within reputation management, competitive analysis and so on. As a productivity tool, this could save you a fortune because it monitors multiple networks – Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarks etc, freeing up your employees to respond rather than spend time seeking out the relevant tweets, status updates, mentions etc.
  • Content development – want to be amongst the first to post on topics in your industry or provide up to date content to your customers? Use real time to monitor breaking news and use this to create content on your blog, website, email list, etc.

Undoubtedly, there are going to be hundreds of uses for realtime that will allow you to spend less time searching the news and more time reacting to it, which will be an shot in the arm for internet marketers.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology