Google Realtime Search Goes Missing

google-realtime-smallUpdate: A couple hours after this post was published, Google spokesperson Gabriel Stricker shared this statement with us:

We’ve temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We’re exploring how to incorporate our recently launched Google+ project into this functionality going forward, so stay tuned.

Also see our updated article with more details, As Deal With Twitter Expires, Google Realtime Search Goes Offline.

Below is the original article….

* * * * *

As I noted a couple of days ago, Google has started rolling out user interface changes to many of their products, including search. Google plans to continuing evolving the UI throughout the summer, and in some cases, that includes removing functionality. Presumably, Google is removing features that weren’t used often or are being replaced with other functionality. Earlier today, we noted that Google confirmed removal of the Wonder Wheel, which, while never the most dazzling in graphic design, was pretty cool for visually exploring related topics (both for searchers and for researchers).

But now, real-time updates has gone missing. A glitch or is it gone for good? I’m thinking it’s a glitch. Signs it’s gone:

Google Real Time 404

  • The “Realtime” option is no longer in the Google search left sidebar

Google Real Time

  • The “Realtime results” is missing from the News OneBox

Google Real Time News

Signs this might be a glitch:

I also find it unlikely that this was intentional, as searching Twitter and other real-time updates has become so integral to news results. See a few examples below of how things looked before Realtime Search disappeared.

Google Realtime

Google Realtime

Now there’s a bunch of white space where the Tweets column used to be.

Google News White Space

Postscript: See As Deal With Twitter Expires, Google Realtime Search Goes Offline.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Real Time Search

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. She built Google Webmaster Central and went on to found software and consulting company Nine By Blue and create Blueprint Search Analytics< which she later sold. Her book, Marketing in the Age of Google, (updated edition, May 2012) provides a foundation for incorporating search strategy into organizations of all levels. Follow her on Twitter at @vanessafox.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://www.jackcola.org Jack Cola

    I did notice that Realtime was available thursday 30th with the new UI, so it looks like they have now removed it – but I don’t think many people used it as it was essentially a Twitter search, with a few Facebook comments

  • http://NextParadigms.com Lucian Armasu

    Not sure about wanting to see Google+ shares in Google search. But I DO want to see it within Google+. I really want to see what the community is sharing, just like on Twitter. Why hasn’t Google enabled this from the beginning I wonder. Not enough data?

  • Jonathan

    Yep, it’s gone for me, too! I miss it already as I often used it.

    Did anyone else notice that the Tweets from twitter disappeared shortly before they removed Realtime? I was using it on the 2nd of July, and there were not Tweets in Realtime search since 3:13 AM EDT. Ideas, anyone?

  • http://www.make-it-rain.co.uk Luke Regan

    Maybe facebook and Twitter turned off the hoses once Google+ launched?

  • http://www.jfmonfette.com JF Monfette

    Bye the way, the 404 page featured above is really weak compared to Google’s best practice recommandations for 404 pages.

  • http://www.mediawestpost.com M.W.

    thats crazy. i use that realtime feed all the time. when fukushima was going on you could see the feeds coming from everywhere­. it was great. same with tornados and other breaking news, it was one of the best ways to get info fast.

    why would they remove that? google is losing their edge, all these failed concepts, while they remove the good ones….

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