Google is developing a system to ingest real-time content updates from any page on the web automatically, using the open PubSubHubbub Atom protocol, we reported on Wednesday.

Google already indexes a whole lot of content very quickly, will a real-time indexing system make a big difference? There are differences of opinion on the matter and we'd like to know what you think. Search analyst Danny Sullivan told us on Wednesday that he thought it could be "the next chapter" for Google. John Battelle said this morning: "In short, it's a new way for Google to get (more) real time signals. But honestly, not a huge deal. I don't think. Correct me if I'm wrong..." What do you think, readers?


We explained the specifics of how the Hubbub system might work in our earlier coverage so let's talk now about possible impacts (or lack thereof).

As we wrote on Wednesday:

PuSH is much more computationally efficient for Google but [Google's Brett] Slatkin says that even more important is the impact of such a move for small publishers. Right now many small sites get visited by Google maybe once a week. With a PuSH system in place, they would be able to get their content to Google automatically right away.

A richer, faster, more efficient internet would be good for everyone, but the benefits in search wouldn't be limited to Google, either. The PubSubHubbub is an open protocol and the feeds would be as visible to Yahoo and Bing as they would be to Google.

Readers Who Think This is Big

Sharon Kavanagh says:

This all sounds fantastic for the small guy as I have just created my first ever website which is for a reunion. The site will only be live for a short period as the date is May15th 2010 for the event and yet, it will probably take Google till then before my site is indexed and hence the peple I am trying to reach will never find it.

Scott Holodak says:

Previously you had to wait for spiders to crawl around the web to find changes on your site. Pages are crawled over again and again just to see if anything has changed. It's a pretty inefficient process. Now the spiders are going to be fat and lazy because you are going to deliver your changes directly to them.


No Big Deal

Reader comments arguing this is not a big deal.

"Scott" says:

A properly designed website already "pushes" to (more accurately: gets "pulled" by) search engines and the frequency of indexing by search engines is determined by the popularity of the website.

This information doesn't seem too new to me.

Bruce Wayne says:

Pushing unstructured content in real time can only mean the non relevant results will make it into the search results faster. To me this is another google hocus pocus distraction away from the the fact that search as it is today has hit a wall....millions of pages on unstructured data created exclusively to game the system....and now these pages of non relevant content can be pushed into the search stream in real time....

What Do You Think?

I think there is something fundamentally different about a web that Google's index subscribes to in real time vs. a web that Google has to plow through with a spider looking for new content. I'm still wrapping my head around it, but there's something about the PuSH method that feels like it would make the Google index a living, breathing phenomenon.

What do you think?