Google and Twitter join forces for disaster alerts

Google's and Twitter's relationship has been a bit rocky since the former launched a social network of its own, but, for the greater good, that's changing. When a "more extreme" natural disaster strikes, Google Now, Search and Maps will populate with tweets related to the Public Alert event in an effort to add context, both on mobile and the desktop. On Google+, the search giant notes that these related tweets will serve to answer questions about school closings, nearby evacuations and to display what people closest to a storm are seeing. At the moment, this is only available for English-speaking countries, but Mountain View says it's working to add new kinds of social content to more places and its other products for the future. It isn't quite the Realtime Search of yore that added everyone's tweets to Search results, but it is something. If you had bets on The Blue Bird and Big G never ever getting back together, it's time to pay up.