Google Introduces Instant Search


Just a day shy of Google saying the next step in search is automatic, Google’s gone ahead and announced Instant search. The idea here is that – as you type – results will come up before you even have to press enter. I didn’t quite get what Eric Schmidt meant the other day when he quickly touched on this next step, but it’s quite apparent now.


Did you know:

  • 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.

I think what’s more amazing is how much sense it makes that this is the next step for search and we didn’t even make a big deal out of it. We’ve already experienced a taste of things to come as Google already predicts search terms, so it’s only logical that they’ll predict search results as you’re typing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get this to work right in Google Chrome. Ironic, no? Predicted search terms came up just as they always did, but nothing more.

Google did leave a nice warning at the top of their Instant landing site stating not everyone will see it just yet, but my Google homepage indicated that Instant was – in fact – enabled and ready to go. Upon trying it, I was kicked back to the old search homepage. Your mileage will vary right now as things will take time to propagate across the web, but go ahead and watch the video above to get an idea of what Google Instant is if you haven’t already been able to try it.

Now the first logical question on an Android-focused site: how will this translate to the mobile web? Will it even translate? Is it even technically possible? And beyond all of that, will it even be practical? Those are the questions that many will be looking for the answers to as the mobile web continues to grow as technological societies of today strive to do more in a smaller package. For now, I’m just going to go ahead and wait for Google Instant to go live (for me) so I can run a bunch of useless searches just to see how cool this new feature really is.

[Update]: Would you look at that: Instant’s got a definite future on mobile. That settles that, then.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Worked perfect for me on Chrome

  2. I hate it already, at least I can turn it off.

  3. it’s working on Chrome v6 and it’s coming to mobile during Q4 as stated on their Twitter account

  4. Google constantly makes stuff less long :o)

  5. Seems to be a mixed bag of opinions, but I will say this: it’s impressive from a software standpoint. Being able to not only predict what a user will input but to provide a full page of search results at the speeds it does requires a high level of optimization. I would love to get a hand on that source code.

  6. Loving the new search. I haven’t really had anything to actually use it for yet, but I think it will be really useful for me at least.

  7. I like it but its making me slower because now I have to click on the site and before in the Google search box it would give me the site with only a few clicks.

  8. Never mind I’m dumb. Now you just type phand and when you see Phandroid.com you press the down arrow then the right arrow and it takes straight to the website. Its to bad Verizon screwed the Fascinate with Bing search.
    Verizon rule the air, screw the software.

  9. This is good when I will be using long tail keywords but for shorter keywords I believe I can type faster than their suggestions…
    Still I’m sure it’s going to be very useful for many Google search engine users.. Nice feature !!! Also it is useful when you making a typo while searching..
    What about you? Do you think this feature is going to be handy for you as well?

  10. its f’ing annoying.

  11. @Donkey3000

    Its f’ing awesome!

  12. @Dilbert, Donkey3000
    It’s f’ing “it’s”

  13. Works perfectly in IE.

  14. i love this new way of presenting the search results..
    actually, i typed in random words into the google search for the last 30mins :D

  15. Works on my PC w/Chrome and on my Vibrant stock Eclair.
    Works very well, like it.

  16. @pieter
    High five for correct grammar!

  17. I was wondering wtf was going on… it was guessing what I was searching for before I was done typing it. Google’s fre

  18. aking awesome!

  19. @pieter
    High five for caring!

    Me, I like it.

  20. @Alex
    Looks like you’ve already gotten used to Google guessing what you’ll type. LOL

  21. Yes, till now instant search loaded on my pc for three times. It looks great hats off to google for starting a new era of serch engines. looks cool to me

  22. My only concern with this would be for people who aren’t on unlimited data plans, whilst the features are pretty cool, the data through put must be immense, continuously performing search predictions, then sending requests and receiving results.

  23. Google did not want to make a big deal about it, because they need to take more measures to make sure they can handle the increased demand.

    They will be serving “many more result pages for each query performed”… [they] had to find efficent ways to address the increased demand. Search is a hard problem that’s far from solved.”

  24. but if you type the name of a pornstar you have to press enter… don’t they know what the internet is used for lol.

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