Google Realtime Search was only a section of Google’s search sidebar that allows you to restrict the results to Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and other sites where you can post public updates. Now it’s a full-fledged service that has a homepage, a logo and a name.
Even if Google Realtime’s homepage is at google.com/realtime, you’ll miss two important new features if you don’t go to this special URL: filtering results by location and showing the context of a message using a conversation view.
Restrict search results to a location to find out what people from a certain place think about a topic. “You can use geographic refinements to find updates and news near you, or in a region you specify. So if you’re traveling to Los Angeles this summer, you can check out tweets from Angelenos to get ideas for activities happening right where you are,” suggests Google.
If one of the search results is part of a conversation, Google shows a link to the full conversation. “Often a single tweet sparks a larger conversation of re-tweets and other replies, but to put it together you have to click through a bunch of links and figure it out yourself. With the new full conversation feature, you can browse the entire conversation in a single glance.”
Google also added a new feature to Google Alerts: updates, which is another name for realtime results. It’s not a good idea to choose the “as-it-happens” option because you’ll receive a lot of email alerts.