July 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM ET
As we told you yesterday, Google Realtime Search has ceased for now, which means you'll no longer see tweets and Facebook updates among search results.
We told you we'd update you if we found out more, and today we have.
Google has let its contract with Twitter expire, sending Search Engine Land this explanation: "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 also confirmed the breakup with Search Engine's Danny Sullivan: "Since October 2009, Twitter has provided Google with the stream of public tweets for incorporation into their real-time search product and other uses. 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."
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
That doesn't mean tweets will stop appearing in Google search results, but those results won't be as full and fast as the unfettered access Google had through its contract with Twitter. (TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld has an excellent analysis of the "firehose" and its value.)
Google tried to be reassuring: "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."
They also left the door open for a reconciliation in the future: "Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future."
A tweet sent out from Google Realtime early Monday morning (July 4) tipped off everyone to this turn of events: "We've temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We're exploring how to incorporate Google+ into this functionality, so stay tuned."
Google said that when Realtime Search returns — not if, but when — it will include feeds from its new social networking site, Google+, as well as continue to feature real-time information from other sources, such as Facebook, Quora, MySpace and Twitgoo.
Will Google+ generate the kind of data that Google had with Twitter? Do you think it'll catch on like Twitter or Facebook?