Google Suspends Realtime Search

Google Realtime Search has been suspended, amid reports of an expired deal with Twitter

On by Tom Jowitt 0

Search engine giant Google has suspended its Realtime search engine as of 2 July, but it is unclear at this stage whether the expiry of a deal with Twitter is the cause.

Google launched a stand-alone real-time search engine in October 2010. However Google had previously delivered real-time search features to users from as far back as December 2009.

Realtime Search

Google Realtime Search is essentially a Google search engine that is dedicated to live information. It includes real-time information from a number of sources including Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and news websites.

However it seems that the deal that Google had worked out with Twitter back in 2009 (Google apparently coughed up $20 million or £12m to Twitter), has now expired, meaning that Google’s access to Twitter feeds has come to an end.

That deal had provided Google’s realtime search indexes with instant credibility for relevancy.

“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 2 July,” a Google spokesman told the Telegraph newspaper.

“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.”

Most of the United States has been shut down today due to the 4 July public holidays, but a fuller explanation was provided by Twitter itself.

“Since October 2009, Twitter has provided Google with the stream of public tweets for incorporation into their real-time search product and other uses,” a Twitter spokesman told specialist search blog, Searchengineland. “That agreement has now expired. We continue to provide this type of access to Microsoft, Yahoo!, NTT Docomo, Yahoo! Japan and dozens of other smaller developers. And, we work with Google in many other ways.”

Google then sent a further comment to Searchengineland.

“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,” said Google. “As for other features such as social search, they will continue to exist, though without Twitter data from the special feed.”

Realtime Relaunch

Neither party was able to say when or indeed if a new deal will be renegotiated.

Yet it does seem strange that Google opted to disable the entire Realtime Search element of Google, just because the Twitter deal has expired.

That said, Google has indicated that the Realtime Search engine will relaunch, though no timeframes were mentioned. It will include a variety of feeds, including feeds from its Google+ social network that it launched last week.

“Our vision is to have include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources,” a Google spokesman was quoted as saying.

Tom Jowitt
Author: Tom Jowitt
Freelance TechWeek Reporter
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