Google has introduced an exciting new enhancement to their search engine called Google Instant. They’ve brought search-as-you-type to the Google homepage. As soon as you start typing a keyword in the Google search bar, it’ll start showing results instantly with each stroke. It also includes predictive text that guesses what you want to type or search for so you save time typing it in. Why is this beneficial? According to Google, it will save:
- 2-5 seconds per search for an average person
- 350 million hours of user time per year
- users 11 hours with each passing second
Google Instant is a radical departure from the previous ‘type and hit the search button’ practice. It’s extremely fast and loads next page results very fast as well. One has to wonder, though, how will this effect advertisement on Google search result pages? I have yet to see any, though.
Here’s what you get when using Google Instant:
- Dynamic Results – Google dynamically displays relevant search results as you type so you can quickly interact and click through to the web content you need.
- Predictions – One of the key technologies in Google Instant is that we predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing. See what you need? Stop typing, look down and find what you’re looking for.
- Scroll to search – Scroll through predictions and see results instantly for each as you arrow down.
This type of search technology has existed before as demos. One of the most popular examples has been Microsoft enthusiast Long Zheng’s display of the power of Bing’s API with The Real Live Search demo. While Google only displays web search results currently, The Real Live Search shows image and video results as well.
Google Instant is available for all major browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer 8. Sorry Opera. The rollout is under way and users in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Spain and U.K. will see the feature soon. Google Instant will be rolled out everybody gradually.
Google Instant will also be available on Smartphones soon.
Some more facts on Google Instant:
- Before Google Instant, the typical searcher took more than 9 seconds to enter a search term, and we saw many examples of searches that took 30-90 seconds to type.
- Using Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
- If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.
- 15 new technologies contribute to Google Instant functionality.