What do Google employees do when there is an earthquake where they work?

They sit tight in front of their computers to see how Google real-time search is indexing tweets from the earthquake.

According to Google engineer Matt Cutts:

Overall, realtime search triggered in under two minutes from the earthquake happening and within a minute of the first tweets appearing. The rough timeline (in Pacific time) is
~10:10 – An earthquake happened. (The USGS says the earthquake happened at 10:09:35 a.m.)
10:11 – The USGS government web site started to track the earthquake, with a “?” magnitude.
10:12 – Google’s realtime onebox triggers.
10:13 – USGS web site marked the magnitude as 4.1.
10:20 – USGS site updates their feed.
~10:25 – Google’s earthquake onebox gets updated earthquake info.
All in all, not too shabby, but still a perfect opportunity to identify ways to do better.
One last thing: I love that many Google employees’ first instinct when they feel an earthquake is to start searching on Google to see how well our real-time search works. 

A short note about real-time search. Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google, and SEO.

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