Google+ Rolls Out Hashtag and Real-time Search Support

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 13, 2011
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Google, Search

It has been a while since I last mentioned Google+ here on Ghacks. Mike published a story yesterday about a Google employee who accidentally posted a rant about the Google+ product online, and the day before about a third party analysis that came to the conclusion that traffic was dropping on the social networking site.

Google despite the bad press recently has pushed out a new Google Plus update that introduced two new features to the site.

Hashtags, known from Twitter, are now supported by Google+. A hashtag is basically the symbol # followed by a keyword. Twitter uses these for categorization and search, and the same principle has been ported by the Google engineers to Google+.

Hashtags are automatically turned into links in posts that link to the keywords search results on Google Plus.

google plus hashtags

It is used both for categorizing and searching on the site. Hashtags are completely optional, and even if you do not use hashtags your posts may appear in hashtag search results.

The second new feature is real-time search which is now available on Google Plus as well.

google plus real-time search

Real-time search will tell you during searches if new posts are available. If you click on the message or select the "most recent" button (instead of the default best of button) you will notice that new posts will appear automatically on top.

Google displays a Pause button then to give users an option to pause the auto-updating which can be helpful for very busy topics.

Real-time search can be handy during events like press conferences where news are posted continuously.

Here is a video showing Vic Gundotra demonstrating both new features on Google Plus.

When you look at the hashtag feature you will notice that Google displays keyword related posts on the search results page and not only posts that have been tagged with a hashtag. Depending on the quality of the search results it could lead to the inclusion of unrelated posts in the search results.

Hashtags and real-time search, what's your take on this two new features of Google+?


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  1. Darren A Rowell said on October 14, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Alls i really want is somone to send me instructions on how to do a back up to my terredrive without it saying not completed proberly.. Thank-youy

  2. moka said on October 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I have seen people heavily criticizing Facebook for copying some of its features from other social networks especially google plus, but we see here google did exactly that to Twitter.

  3. hal9000 said on October 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    until they roll out g+ to GHA users I ain’t using it other than to tinker with it.
    This is a stupid move not to open it up fully to the thousands of google hosted account users. It obviously works as it links well with gmail addresses.
    The kind of google users and fans are being kicked in the nuts by google not doing this.

    1. Anthony Frazier said on October 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      @hal9000: +eleventy hojillion. I’m not creating another bloody Google account just so I can use something that should already be available.

      It’s especially sad because it’s punishing those who have “gone Google” — their early adopters and people who have invested their digital lives most heavily into their services.

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