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Google Can’t Keep Up With Tiger Woods?!?

by PotPieGirl on December 12, 2009 · 25 comments

Latest Results Scroll In Google Search Results

Good-bye long-tail… hello Tiger-tail! Ok, now I’ve seen it all…lol! It seems all the demand for up-to-the-second information on Tiger Woods has caused Google to use something I haven’t seen before – a scrolling box on the Google search results page that is automatically updating with Twitter “tweets” and newly found web content on the topic of Tiger Woods. Anything new on the internet, that Google finds “seconds ago”, is showing up in that scrolling box as you sit on the Google search results page. Unbelievable! Seems Google had to find a way to keep up with Tiger Woods!

Latest Results from Twitter and Other Web Sites in Google Results

Go ahead, try it…. Google “Tiger Woods” (no need for quotes, Google knows EXACTLY what you mean…lol) and see if a scrolling box shows up that displays latest tweets and web pages that were just found by Google.

Here is a screen shot of what I just saw:

How’s about that? Google had to find SOME way to keep up with the overly-dynamic, ever updating, constantly changing trend of Tiger Woods and all the stuff that is surrounding him now.

How big of a sudden trend IS this Tiger-phenomenon on the internet?

The Tiger-Tail Effect

Let’s take a look on Google insights and see the change in web search interest since all this stuff broke in the news:

Wow, huh!?!? That graph represents the web search interest for Tiger Woods since 2004. In case you live under a rock, Tiger Woods has been in the news and done MANY MANY news-worthy things since 2004, but his web search interest has remained pretty level for the most part.

Until the end of November 2009 – all this stuff about him has shot web search interest through the ROOF…and Google had to find some way to keep up and keep offering their users the most relevant and up-to-the-moment results. Quite a task, but what an interesting way to handle it.

Just a note: When I use FireFox and search Google for Tiger Woods (not signed in to Google), I see this scrolling box at the top of the results. Now, my hubby, in the other room (not signed in to Google either) is using Internet Explorer (ugh) and his scrolling “latest results” show up more towards the bottom of the first page. Not sure why, but thought I’d mention it in case your “latest results” are not in the same place as my screen shot…. or you don’t see them at all.

Anyway… I thought this latest coolness in the Google search results was really interesting. Sure shows the effect the “Tiger-tail” has on the search results, doesn’t it?

Oh, and just a fun fact… I don’t see one of the “latest results” boxes when I search on Google for Obama…. but, hey, he is “only” the President of the United States…why in the world would we people want up-to-the-second info on The President? (sigh).

PotPieGirl Edit - (8 Minutes after originally publishing this post): Looks like I made the “latest results” scroll bar in the Google results for Tiger Woods…lol!

personal note from PotPieGirl - this post is intended to discuss the effect the Tiger-tail has on Google from a SEO-perspective and to encourage further discussion on that one subject. I am NOT welcoming any comments that have to do with the current Tiger Woods situation. While I respect that everyone, myself included, DO have personal opinions on this situation, I do not feel that my blog is the place to discuss it. So please… please…resist the urge to discuss your personal thoughts on Tiger Wood’s personal situation. Thank you.


PotPieGirl December 12, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Please be sure to read the very last paragraph of my post BEFORE posting a comment (highlighted in orange).

I WILL delete comments that do not respect my request…



Tracey December 13, 2009 at 12:21 am

That’s really interesting. I tried to find some more newsworth stories that showed the twitter feed but couldn’t find any – I wonder if it’s connected to hot trends? I’m sure Tiger wouldn’t be the only topic that it shows for.

At first I thought it might be showing since G rolled out personalised search results but that wouldn’t make sense why everyone would see it (although it might impact where on the page it is displayed).

If you are using IM to target hot topics then it could work in a positive way for you – like you getting this post to rank for the term tiger woods.

Interesting to see how this unfolds for more stories in the future.


Tyla Mac December 13, 2009 at 5:02 am

Wow! I’m getting the results at the top of the screen if I’m not signed in and right in the middle if I am.

I’ll bet big G never dreamed that a news event of this magnitude would help them launch their real time search.

This is a very interesting development.

Cat December 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

That’s a nice feature! Will be interesting to see what else it is used for.

The box is halfway down the page for me (using Firefox, signed in).

Lewis December 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I saw the same thing yesterday when I googled hannuka!

PotPieGirl December 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Really, Lewis? I read somewhere that someone got that box for a -car insurance- search,too. I’m not seeing the box for either of those searches today tho. But it’s still rockin’ along for a Tiger Woods search…lol!

Ravi@How to make quick money December 16, 2009 at 3:49 am

It’s pretty cool seeing the changes that happen online in response to current events. Tiger Woods might feel pretty special if not for the less-than-ideal circumstances…

I’ll be looking out for more stories that use this… Wonder if it’ll become standard for Google?

Shankapotomus December 16, 2009 at 6:33 am

While the name suggest Golf talk, I will hold back. i am wondering if that was a Google Super Secret Project and if Tiger just caused them to whip that bad boy out early. I would watch for glitches. I will bet they were saving it for an event like the next election or some insane crazy huge news event like 911. It seems Google is prepared for anything.

Shankapotomus December 16, 2009 at 6:40 am

Oh and uh just so you know the latest news scroller comes up when you google Woods alone or even if you google Tiger alone. So they show up on a singl word search like “woods” Wow.

val December 17, 2009 at 6:17 am

Cool tool. If your content shows up in the scrolling box, does it affect your page in it’s climb up toward first page of google?

Marketing Advertising Business December 18, 2009 at 5:17 am

Now that’s cool, and you’ll only see that kind of thing on Google!

hmm, I wonder if Nike is making bank with all of this free press?

Jackie Lee December 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Well, Brittany Murphy now has one. Such a great idea and a great way to get news as it breaks.

Robyn December 20, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Hi Potpiegirl

Congratulations on your new addition to the family, so cute!

I read your blog regularly and just wanted to ask what marketers you follow and where you keep up to date with your IM information?

You always seem to know about new techniques etc as they happen or before they become mainstream news.


Have a great xmas and new year.

rajat December 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm

All the results and the scrolling bar you are seeing is because fot he google real-time search , though google is just testing this feature they launched it on 9th dec 2009 but is still not visible to all the user though out the world , since google likes to test its features on few users

But yes it is an amazing feature thats the reason why you are seeing such amazing results on tiger woods search

swarovski strasssteine December 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Thanks for this great post. I see this for the first time because I´m form Germany and google germany dont use this till now. I always learn a lot from your posts and really appreciate it! I wish you a Happy New Year. Regards, Martin

Carico December 29, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Amazing how caught up in celebrity gossip everyone is. Who even cares that Tiger Woods cheated. It doesn’t suprise me that a celebrity would do this and did he not think he wouldn’t get caught. Come on!

Office Supplies January 3, 2010 at 7:44 am

Wow, I find this tool very useful and impressive. I am not familiar with this Google scroll thing until I read your blog. Thanks for sharing this one and helping us explore our knowledge more about online techniques.

Wmoff January 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

That’s cool. His advertisers are probably baking on that.

Calender January 6, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Google updates take too long, naturally it is impossible to update billions of page by spiders and bots and since google knows that they are a bit delayed to release updated contents in search results, especially the hot news , they rathered to use the instant comments via twitter, lets see if it is going to be succesful because it should be in a test mode since not directly accessable but in additona lsearch options

FTLwpress January 8, 2010 at 7:32 am

I think google is faster than any other search engines when it comes to updating your pages. Yahoo is slower, I think…

Forum Indonesia January 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Google is always up to some kind of innovations but I think this live feed is shown for only very few keywords. Even though Google has not applied this live feed in their local versions.

Gary January 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Hi Jennifer, interesting observation.

I searched tiger woods and saw this box about two listings down, and a few minutes later it had disappeared. Also saw it mid table when searching haiti disaster and haiti disaster relief. Seems they are experimenting with this box just on very high volume topical keywords.

Brett Jarvi January 23, 2010 at 6:15 am

Hey Jennifer,
Google, our friend and foe, will not be left in the dust. Even when it comes to chicken-sh*t.
No boundary’s
Don’t have an affair, PotPieGirl, Google will eat you alive.

Penny Go @ Digital Media Academy January 23, 2010 at 6:47 am

Hi Jennifer,
It is very interesting what you can see in the Google search results. You probably weren’t aiming to be the “leading authority” on the Tiger Woods story, but you got your 10 seconds of fame! I’m trying to do something like this for a summer camp I am assisting, because someone has decided to use their name without permission and created a blogspot blog and a facebook page with the same name. Since we’re not able to just remove those misleading entries from search results, we have to concentrate on increasing our web presence across other sites, to increase the authorized uses of the name being indexed, and pushing down the unauthorized uses. It’s interesting what you can do when you work hard at it. By creating a “list” under my twitter account with the name of the business I’m trying to assist, and then following their legitimate accounts on that list by their name, I’m able to get a google page one listing, and push the unauthorized user down a notch. Then by working on the wikipedia account for the business, it also got a page one listing, and pushed the unauthorized user down another notch…. Bit by bit, the work is paying off… It’s very interesting what you can actually do to nudge the search engines…

SillyStats January 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Informative tool indeed. I just love reading blogs like this one, I gain more knowledge about Online Marketing techniques.

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