If you are one of the many people relying upon the Google Realtime Search, you will have probably found out that the service went offline 2 days ago. Your best alternative now is the Google Tweet Search with date option (example).
So, just as Google’s new social network was released, their relationship with Twitter has ended. Speculation is that either Twitter or Google didn’t feel comfortable continuing the relationship now that they are more direct competitors. Search Engine Landreports that Google’s contract to view tweets expired on the 2th of July. Both companies have commented on the situation. Google explained that:
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. Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future. Especially with the recent launch of Google Plus this stirs up wild speculations about whether this was strategically planned. Google however tried to avoid any rumours by including that Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.
Yet, why action wasn’t taken to continue the relationship, remains a miracle somehow, as other places continue to offer Realtime Search.
Where can I continue to access Realtime Search for Tweets?
Here it is particularly worth mentioning that Microsoft entered into a similar deal with Twitter 2 years ago, yet the collaboration remains intact.
Twitter mentions that
Microsoft is not the only one continuing with access to Realtime Search: 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.
Are All Tweets Excluded From Search Results?
Whilst some may wonder, whether this will affect normal search results too, Google specified that this is not the case:
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.
What does this mean?
The first and foremost practical implication is that Google delivered the best results for Tweets, reaching back farthest. So obviously for us as users, it means that we need to rely on less qualitative results for now.
As Twitter’s own search barely reaches further back then a few days, I believe that it would naturally make sense for them to make an effort and restore the collaboration. For both their own good and the good of users.
I will keep an eye out on further communication from either Twitter or Google and keep you updated here.
About the Author:
Leo Widrich is the Co-Founder of Twitter App Buffer, an App that allows you to tweet all the great content you find more intelligently without flooding your followers. He writes more Twitter Tips and updates every week on the Bufferblog. Say hi @LeoWid anytime, he is a very nice guy and always happy to chat.