So this week, Google killed off its realtime search facility and I for one, am disappointed. I thought that the feature, which combined a huge amount of data from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, was great and added a great deal of value to the Google search engine.
I often found myself scrolling through the realtime results when news broke, and also thought it was a particularly useful means of keeping track of the latest 'goings on' at Villa Park. Whilst Google could be doing us Villa fans a favour by removing its realtime search facility - shielding us from the depressing news of our best players leaving, I do think the company is running a bit of a risk by getting rid of it. It turns out, I'm not the only one missing its existence!
What has Google got to say for itself?
The Google realtime search Twitter account announced that it was 'temporarily disabling google.com/realtime' in order to explore how they can incorporate Google+ (their own social stream) into this functionality. But I think the problem is slightly bigger than this.
There's talk that the Google-Twitter realtime agreement, which allowed Google to access a special feed from Twitter, has expired and without that in place, there was very little realtime information which could be gathered from the other social platforms - meaning Google Realtime would have been a bit of a waste of space.
It's a bit unprofessional on Google's part
The disappointing aspect of this whole story is that users of Google, shouldn't be exposed to such back-stage issues. We want a consistently good service, and it just doesn't look professional for Google to completely remove the facility without prior warning, and then go on to cite the end of an agreement with Twitter as the reason for the closure.
In all honesty, I think Google would probably have tried to avoid such a situation if they could have - which means this situation is likely to have arisen as a result of a financial disagreement (between Google and Twitter), or maybe Twitter isn't too happy about the news that Google plans to use Google+ to effectively replace Twitter within its search engine results. If that's the case, it'll be interesting to see how Google and Twitter behave in the coming months!