Google has temporarily disabled its powerful realtime search feature, which gives users results from Twitter and a bunch of other real-time news sources, as a 2009 agreement to display up-to-the-minute Twitter results expired.
The realtime search integrated real-time data from Twitter and other social networking services has disappeared from Google. The feature's URL leads to a 404 error page, and the option is missing from Google's left-hand toolbar.
Google released a statement in Search Engine Land about the change: Since October of 2009, we have had an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results through a special feed, and that agreement expired on July 2.
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.
The shutdown of realtime comes just as Google is in the process of rolling out Google+, its new social networking initiative that competes with Twitter.
Google will use real time data from other sources that it will integrate with Google+. The realtime search had content from other services like Google news links, Jaiku, freshly updated web pages, Quora, Gowolla and Twitgoo among others. Twitter, however formed the bulk of the realtime searches.
So the company doesn't need Twitter as badly as it did two years ago. It can drive a harder bargain with Twitter. If Google+ is truly ramping up for a fight with Twitter, it’s no wonder the companies aren’t working together on this product any longer.