Most of us were used to seeing Twitter updates on Google when we searched for latest news, especially in times of disasters.
Google Realtime Search made it possible for us to read indexed Twitter updates from disaster affected areas, for instance when the Tsunami struck the Eastern coast of Japan. It was convenient for most of us to read published news and blog posts, and real time Twitter updates on the same screen when we keyed in a term in Google. However, Google Realtime Search has come to an end with the expiration of Google’s agreement with twitter on the 2nd of July, 2011.
This means, one may longer get to read the updates as they are tweeted, but can still read information that is publicly available for Google’s crawlers. Google did mention however that Realtime Search would be relaunched but they stressed on the fact that there is no set time frame to do that. When Google Realtime Search would be relaunched, it would include updates from Google+ and real time data from ‘various sources’. Twitter however wrote to Search Engine Land that the agreement with Google has expired, but they would continue to provide access to Twitter updates and data to Microsoft, Yahoo!, NTT Docomo and other ‘smaller developers’.
Twitter may not have much to lose anyway, for public content from Twitter would still be accessible on Google, and all of the content would be available on other search engines. Google may have known that it would need a social media service of its own, and cannot really depend on twitter and fight Facebook all alone. Thus, Google might concentrate more on Google+ in order to provide real time data. That is perhaps why Google has disabled Realtime Search for the moment, and when Google+ goes public, we may expect to see Realtime search back in business.