Google Real Time Search, Wonder Wheel & More Go Offline

Jul 4, 2011 • 9:33 am | comments (40) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Google 404 Bot ImageOn Sunday, we posted two stories at Search Engine Land that were significant. They included Google Realtime Search Goes Missing and The Google Wonder Wheel Is Gone.

Yes, Google features are dropping left and right and without warning, notification or reason.

Real Time Search Gone:

Google's real time search launched in 2009 and added some significant features in 2010 but as of yesterday, no - not due to the new design (at least I am 99% sure the feature was there Friday afternoon), Google killed off the Real Time search feature. As Vanessa Fox explained at Search Engine Land google.com/realtime 404s, the "Realtime" option on the left menu (sometimes called "Updates") was removed, Realtime results are gone from the news results but the Twitter account, help pages and so on are all still active. But my URLs I track for real time search queries are also dead or redirecting. Soon after the story, Google sent SELand a statement and tweeted:

We've temporarily disabled google.com/realtime. We're exploring how to incorporate Google+ into this functionality, so stay tuned.

Update: Danny received an update from Google claiming their Twitter deal expired, which is the real reason the service went offline.

In fact, I asked one of the lead engineers on Google Real Time search back on June 30th how Google + will be integrated with Google Real Time Search and he said "We are working on it." But at that time, I really think Real Time search was working fine.

Anyway, I will miss it while it is gone and I am looking forward to it's renewed launch.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Wondering Where Wonder Wheel Is?

If you are wondering where Google's Wonder Wheel search refinement feature went, you are not alone. There is a thread asking that question at Google Web Search Help and Gary covered it at Search Engine Land. Google told us:

As part of the initial stage of our redesign that we'll be rolling out over the next few months, we've removed the Wonder Wheel search tool. For users looking for other search refinements, there are several tools available in the left-hand column, and we're working to incorporate more in the future.

So to me, it seems like it is gone, maybe gone forever.

click for full size

Image Search By Dimension Gone:

You use to be able to search by a specific dimension in Google Image Search. No longer. Now you have to pick from a predefined list. We have complaints at a couple Google Web Search Help threads. One user said:

I don't know why when I go search for an image, the Image exact size search feature is disappeared. Why? If this is really a concern, webmaster, please fix it as soon as possible.

Google has not responded to this specific issue yet but I assume it is part of the same reason. A new design and new focus.

I am sure there are many more features missing, do share any you find below and I hope to have a huge list complied here and Search Engine Land in the future.

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