Google Realtime Search: Exit Twitter, enter Google+

Google Realtime Search has been temporarily shut down following the expiration of its agreement to include Twitter posts in search results.
Written by Matt Weinberger, Contributor

Google Realtime Search has been shut down following the expiration of its agreement to include Twitter posts in search results - but it's going to be back later this year as the preferred way to index and search Google+ posts.

Back in 2009, Google started indexing Tweets and including them in search results. And last year, google.com/realtime was launched as a way to search nothing but Twitter's mass stream of consciousness. But now that URL returns a 404 error.

Google has been circulating the following statement on Realtime Search's vacation from the public eye:

"We've temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We're exploring how to incorporate our recently launched Google+ project into this functionality going forward, so stay tuned. Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources."

The main Google search engine will still use whatever information its crawlers can pick up, but this marks the end of the company's special access to the Twitter feed. Of course, Microsoft's Bing Social Search is still chugging along with its own Twitter social search, complementing its Facebook search service, if that floats your boat.

But with Google Realtime Search closed for renovations, it seems that the Internet has lost a major Twitter post archive - Bing never went back as far as Google, leaving a small search engine called Topsy as the most complete fully searchable Twitter history.

Of course, Google's also been careful to say that they'd be open to another Twitter partnership if the opportunity presents itself. But depending on Google+'s adoption rate, it may not need anyone else on board to make a revamped Google Realtime Search a success.

Editorial standards