The images that appear on Google Earth are from 1 to 3 years old, not live. Images are collected over time.
Google offers a way to see more current images. Using an app called Follow Your World, accessible on the Google website, users can input an exact address and see the latest imagery available on Google Earth. As of 2015, Follow Your World is in the beta stage of development so images may not be current.
Many of the images Google Earth displays are high-definition, but this quality is not available for all areas. Google is working on updating its images while improving image quality.