If you’ve been using Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to search for subjects across the web and on Twitter at the same time, you are out of luck, for now at least. After nearly two years of cooperation, the search giant has ended a deal with the microblogging service, which means those Twitter results are no longer there.
But that doesn’t appear to be all. There were other social networking sites feeding results into Google’s realtime service, including updates from the Q&A site Quora, Facebook fan pages, and new updates from blogs, but with the Twitter feed that made up the bulk of the content on the service now gone, it looks as if the whole of Google Realtime has been taken down with it, with the URL for the site now producing an error 404.
On the surface, the story, first picked up by the blog Search Engine Land, is that the agreement that had been in place since 2009 has simply expired.
But what might smart for Google is that you can still get those results elsewhere: “We continue to provide this type of access to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Yahoo! (NSDQ: YHOO), NTT Docomo, Yahoo! Japan and dozens of other smaller developers,” Twitter noted to the blog. There is also the more diminutive search company Topsy, which only does social search.
Some of those, however, might come with a catch: “Bing’s service never went as far back in time as Google’s,” notes SEL.
And the backstory? This is less clear, but you can see how if the Twitter deal might be out now, it might reemerge again later — especially if enough people complain or start going elsewhere for that data.
Google has been chipping away for a long time at a social media presence of its own, with very mixed success. Its latest effort, Google+, is just getting off the ground, but is still largely closed off to the world at large to sign-up.
Google+ has yet to link up in any way with posts from other social networks — say, in the way that a person can post to both Facebook and Twitter simultaneously if he or she so chooses. It may well be that we will see a reincarnation of Google’s real-time search somewhere closer to (or even within?) its Google+ experience.
And in the meantime, don’t forget that Google seems to be constantly tinkering with other ways of picking up on people-led content. Just last week, it announced a pilot for a new way of flagging results based on the people that created that content. The catch, for now, is that the creators themselves have to “opt in” by actively linking up their Google Profiles for the service to work for them.