In a rare appearance by engineering SVP Vic Gundotra himself, today's Google Plus update video introduces real-time search and actual hashtag support. "We're trying to make it easier to follow and contribute to live events on Google+, including breaking news, sporting events, and many others," Gundotra says.
Google Plus search results now update instantly, and hashtags are now clickable, taking you to the search result for that term. Google Plus got its own search capabilities last month when the service opened to the public.
These improvements will make search on Google Plus more timely and relevant. Google lost the advantage of real-time search on its overall search engine when its arrangement with Twitter expired this year. Now that Google has its own stream of crowd-created info, it can get back into real-time results. It has already begun to integrate Plus posts into Web search results.
Changes to Google Plus search also present an opportunity for developers. Google opened the Google Plus Search APIs earlier this month.
The timing of this release for today is notable. Apple released iOS 5 today, and it's gunning for Google with the impending launch of its AI search assistant, Siri. Google Plus is a mobile service, too, especially powerful for Android users, and better social search on phones might help Google stave off the advances of Apple's intelligent robot phones.