Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience, has taken to the stage and she delivered a note of thanks to over 1 billion weekly users of the entire gamut of Google users (which comprises of a slew of services such as Maps, Gmail, the works!). Google isn’t going to sit on its laurel as the top dog in search, as the company has also introduced hundreds of search enhancements this year alone (real time search, spelling corrections, stars in search, etc) to keep users happy. Today’s announcement, however, will represent a fundamental shift which comes in the form of letting you input queries faster by thinking on your behalf, so to speak. We’re talking about Google Instant – where this service will stream results as you type. Basically, all it takes is a few keystrokes before Google attempts to deliver what you’re looking for. The demo on the showfloor proved to be a speed demon, and if that is an indication of real life performance, we’re stoked. More on Google Instant in the extended post. Those new to the Internet need not fret – basically, if you know how to use Google, you’ll have no problems with Google Instant.
You will be able to use the Up and Down arrow keys to choose suggested search phrases. This seemed to be super speedy, and it does bring a question – how will it affect the Search Engine Optimization since those who do so will want to tweak the sub-search-phrase segment. Nice to see what was once an April Fool’s joke in 2000 turned into the real deal – albeit a decade later. Google Instant will hit the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain and a couple more countries later today for users who have logged into their Google account (update: this is temporary, Google will roll this out for everyone in the near future). Google claims that all the cumulative time saved would be 11 hours for each second in the real world – not really a lot when there are over a billion users weekly, eh?
Search isn’t that basic any more, as it has moved on to being much more complicated now. After all, sometimes you might need to type more than usual to get to the content you’re looking for, and we have made an educated guess that the longer the search phrase is, the more time Google Instant will save you simply because there shouldn’t be any need to go through multiple search/type iterations.
Mobile users, listen up! The mobile version will be released this fall, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Google Instant for Android will be primed and ready to rock and roll by then.
All in all, Google Instant is an Ajax application which means a whole lot of sweat and tears have gone into the back-end to ensure that everything is fast enough to send results to queries, back and forth. It is interesting to note that Google Instant isn’t “in your face”, so it will not affect those who are so used to Google’s search while delivering faster results to Google Instant users – creating a win-win situation for all. Bear in mind that not all 1-letter searches are answered, while it is also possible to rely on local caches in the browser as well as use server-side caches to respond to a query.
Expect Google Instant to debut in a search browser box within a few months’ time. As a parting shot, how’s this for productivity? Google Instant claims to save 300M hours to their users within a year.
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