Google added a Realtime search option in the left-hand sidebar a while ago. Click on Realtime, and your search result will show updates on the topic in, well, realtime. It’s actually kind of nifty – new results scroll up automatically and you can adjust the timeframe of the updates using the graph in the right sidebar.
While the tool has always been cool, the results have been, well, kind of meh, given that the only source for the realtime data was Twitter.
But now, Google Realtime has gotten a lot cooler. It is now including updates from Quora and Gowalla, as well as Facebook and Google Buzz. The more realtime services added to the Google mix, the better the overall result, in my book. Chances are, you will get a wider variety of content, assuming that not everyone tweets everything of interest on a given subject. Quora, for example, seems to attract a different type of user and a different calibre of answer.
As any good researcher will tell you, the more diverse the sources you tap for your search, the more global the overall result. Thanks Google, for making realtime a heck of a lot more relevant and useful for me.