Head on over to Google today to search and you’ll notice something missing: real-time results.

This includes tweets from Twitter, but also Facebook Page updates, Quora, Google News, new web pages, newly updated pages, Friendfeed and even (gasp) MySpace.

In fact, so much is missing that Google’s Realtime Search has become entirely redundant and is now completely offline.

See for yourself – visit google.com/realtime and you’ll be faced with the dreaded 404 error page.

Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land has a very thorough report of what has happened and I urge you to read his piece for more detail. But in a nutshell, it appears that Google’s deal with Twitter (and, one assumes, others) has expired, and as a result Realtime Search has died.

Which all seems, to be honest, very amateur indeed.

Google reached out to Sullivan, saying:

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.

As for other features such as social search, they will continue to exist, though without Twitter data from the special feed.

Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future.

And so did Twitter:

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.

Well, that’s cleared that up. Reading between the lines one assumes, as usual, it has something to do with money. And possibly the recent launch of Google+.

As Sullivan says, the biggest negative about this is that Google is far and away the best place to find old tweets (Twitter’s search, for its many sins, only stores the past seven days). For this reason alone I hope that Twitter and Google can come to a new agreement, and soon.

(Source: Search Engine Land.)