Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Realtime Search product is returning for an encore with Google+ updates, according to the company's lead search engine engineer.
Google experimented with real-time search for more than a year after striking deals to integrate tweets from Twitter and status updates from Facebook and MySpace, as well as several other sources.
The search giant gave Realtime Search a new home here, http://www.google.com/realtime, last August, allowing users to search and scroll through tweets, as well as links from YouTube, Quora and other Websites.
The idea was to catch some of the real-time traffic enjoyed by Twitter when major news events rocked the world. However, Google failed to renew its agreement with Twitter for access tweets through the firehose API, and so the company took Realtime Search down July 2, according to Search Engine Land. Google said at the time:
"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. 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."
Google Fellow Amit Singhal said during a Churchill Club panel Aug. 4 that Google took down Realtime Search because it wasn't providing enough value without the Twitter stream, according to Mashable.
Singhal added that his team is "actively working" on bringing the product back, and is testing adding data from Google+ and other sources to Realtime Search.
Adding Google+ status updates-even just from the current 25 million or so + users, will certainly bring more value to Realtime Search because it would allow people who might not yet be part of the Google+ field trial to see what kind of conversations are happening on the new social network. That's good exposure for the service.
It would also continue the trend of Google integrating its software products to create a more seamless Web service mesh. More integrated generally means faster for users to access and switch between services, which could translate to more searches conducted and ads served.
Some Mashable readers urged Google to hash out an agreement with Twitter, which has as much as millions of active users firing a billion tweets a day:
"Without including Twitter, this becomes a less compelling tool, regardless of adding Google+. Twitter's mainstream appeal means it covered any topic worth talking about in real-time search, often helping to find out localized information as well as international level incidents," wrote reader Alex Sarson in comments after the Mashable piece.
"Overall Google, get back to the table with Twitter... negotiate... or don't bother wasting your time."