Update: Well, 12 hours after Google told Search Engine Land that they’re exploring ways to bring realtime Google+ results to Google Realtime we also learn, this time from Danny Sullivan, that the reason the specialty search tools is gone comes from a contract between Twitter and Google expiring on July 1st.
We’re also interested to learn about the fate of a COMPLETE Twitter archive (back to the first tweet on March 21, 2006.) that Google said was coming when the Twitter Replay feature was added to Google Realtime during April, 2010.
Being able to access a complete archive on the web would be useful given that 24x7x365 access by all users to the Library of Congress Twitter Archive will probably not be available.
Yesterday, we posted that Google had stopped providing access to the Wonder Wheel feature.
Today, Vanessa Fox reports that the Google Realtime search interface is also no longer available. It was taken offline sometime on Sunday. Realtime provided results from Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, MySpace, indenti.ca, TwitArmy, and Jaiku, and other social networking services.
Google says that this specialty search tool will return but no date was provided. At the moment, they’re “exploring” ways to integrate Google+ results into the realtime database
A Couple of Comments:
1. Yet another example of Google removing a search feature (even temporarily) and not letting users know that it would be or was taken offline.
2. It would be useful if Google could mark help pages and other documentation as no longer available when it’s taken offline. It would save people time from going to the database and having it no longer work or arriving at the site and having the interface removed.
3. Finally, it would also be useful if Google could make sure that menus and other parts of the site are updated to reflect a change. Here’s the Google homepage showing a drop-down menu captured at 1pm on July 4, 2011. You can see a link to Realtime about 1/2 way down the page. Clicking the link takes you to a 404 page with no additional info. More confusion.
See Also: Places to Search For Tweets as They’re Posted: