Google Realtime Search is nothing new. For months it has existed as its own area within the search engine’s navigation to search for things happening in realtime. But up until now, that has meant mainly Twitter (thanks to Google’s data deal with that company). But earlier today, it appears Google flipped the switch to make Realtime Search a lot more useful. Namely, they’ve added results from services like Quora, Gowalla, and a range of others.
As pointed out in this Quora thread, it looks like Google flipped the switch to include the data from the services listed above (as well as others) this afternoon. The fact that Quora’s Adam D’Angelo and Marc Bodnick voted up this Quora posting suggests this did in fact just happen today.
As the Quora user notes, “Google Realtime Search is indexing Quora activity such as asking Questions, adding Answers, upvoting Answers, and submitting Posts.” And that’s great news for Quora. But it’s equally great for the other services now included in the realtime feed Google surfaces — namely because they also sometimes surface these results on the main Google.com as well.
We’ve known for sometime that Google was working with Quora to generate better social results. Gowalla is interesting in the fact that this data is public. For example, I just searched for myself and found my own check-in this evening (it’s public on Gowalla .com as well — unlike Foursquare, which only shows this location data when you connect with someone).
Update: We previously stated that Buzz and Facebook data was new, but it looks like it has been there for a bit, even though the timeline graphs suggest they’re new. Quora, Gowalla, and some of the others definitely do appear to be new additions though.