Make no mistake; Twitter poses a serious threat to Google. And Google knows it. They have already declared real time search as their biggest challenge. Real time search is all about picking up on ‘What’s Hot’ right now. Twitter does that very well and is a good indicator of what people are interested in at that moment. Unknown to many, Google has had a product similar to Twitter’s Trending Topics for more than a year. It’s called Hot Trends. It is basically a list of the hottest search queries in the United States during the past hour. The biggest problem with Hot Trends was that there was no easy way to access it directly from Google Search. Hence, most people weren’t even aware of its existence.
Earlier today Google decided to change all that and make Google Trends more accessible. Google Hot Trends is now directly integrated into search results. If you search for any term present in Google’s Hot Trends list you will be presented with a one box displaying more information on the trending topic. Interestingly enough Google has reduced the number of trends listed on Hot Trends to 40. However, the Google Trends onebox will be displayed for all queries present in the top 100.
The integration of Hot Trends may not be revolutionary. However, it’s a smart move which represents the logical next step for Google in its quest towards real time search. Google is feeling the heat from Bing and Twitter and realises that the only way it will remain ahead of the competition is by constantly evolving. May be its time that Microsoft took notice and decided to do something with xRank for Bing.