It looks like you may soon be available to search public Google+ posts in real-time.
In December 2009, Google launched an experimental realtime search service, offering the latest search results, displayed as Google indexed them. Particularly useful in ‘breaking news’ scenarios, the feature was given its own URL and additional features last summer. Now Google has announced that it’s been taken offline for the time being, noting in a tweet “We’ve temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We’re exploring how to incorporate Google+ into this functionality, so stay tuned.”
We’re not quite sure why Realtime would have to be completely taken offline in order to investigate integrating Google+ results, but it certainly demonstrates that Google is keen to make its new service as integrated as possible with other parts of its product portfolio.
It’s fair to assume that only public posts, rather than those posted to specific Circles, will be searchable. Indeed, public Google+ posts already turn up in regular Google search results. The question that remains to be answer is whether will Google let rival search engines like Bing access its real-time flow of Plus data?
UPDATE: We’re spotting journalists on Twitter complaining about the temporary suspension of the service. It looks like Google’s going to incur quite a bit of wrath with this move, especially as there’s no indication when Realtime might be back online.
UPDATE 2: As Search Engine Land reports, Google says that its deal with Twitter to display tweets in realtime search results has expired, leading to the temporary shutdown of Realtime. “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,” the company says. “Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources.”