By now all you Google Realtime Search users will have realized that the feature has gone missing and your search query produces a 404 error page. This is because Google’s Realtime Search was recently disabled due to the termination of its agreement with Twitter who also happened to be the main source of real-time data for the search product. Ironically, Google announced this news through a tweet on its Google Realtime Twitter feed.
Google Realtime search was pretty simple – it produced results in real-time from various sources such as Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Facebook, MySpace, Quora, Gowolla, Plixi and Me2day.
But the question everyone is asking is why? To be honest, nobody really knows for sure. One suggestion is that Google has plans to integrate its newly launched social element Google+ into the Realtime Search feature and thus saw no point in giving Twitter feeds more exposure in its Realtime search results. Google’s’ Gabriel Stricker reiterated the same in her statement that “The company envisions including Google+ information along with other Realtime data from a variety of sources.”
The agreement between Google and Twitter expired in July 2011, however Twitter will continue to provide real-time data to Google’s main competitors, Bing and Yahoo.
While Google will be doing away with Twitters real-time data in its Realtime results, Twitter data wont be gone from Google results completely:
While we will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that’s publicly available to our crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google.
Although Google has not provided any clear answer as to why it didn’t extend the agreement with Twitter, here’s hoping that realtime search is gone for good.