Google Realtime Search is the feature that indexes posts from Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, and other services both on its own URL and into the "one-box" on main search results. And for now, at least, it's not working anymore. It's not because something's broken with the service, but instead, the entire thing is in maintenance mode while Google figures out how to best insert results from their own just-launched social network, Google Plus.
Very early this morning, the Google Realtime Twitter feed put out this message:
That's pretty interesting to me. I mean... why does the entire thing need to be turned off in order to experiment with Google Plus? Why are they "exploring how" to incorporate Google Plus when this was surely part of their plan from the moment they conceived of their own social network? Do they mean they don't know how to add Google Plus?
You used to be able to go to Google.com/Realtime and perform a search. Now, however, you get this:
The Next Web says they're already spotting journalists on social networks who are pretty upset about the Realtime results disappearing. But I imagine those folks won't have much to complain about for long. Google will turn Realtime Search back on, and will probably do so soon. And when they do, Google Plus data will very likely be a part of it.
And that's important for those journalists and everyone else to keep in mind. Google Plus is obviously very important to the company's strategy moving forward. And I can envision a time when it's even more prominent in the search results than Twitter or Facebook is.