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Published On: Wed, Sep 8th, 2010

Google debuts ‘Instant’ Search

Now that the Internet has spoiled you and nine seconds may feel like an eternity, Google is unveiling a new product – now you can conduct a search in a “Google Instant.”

Google unveiled the new feature Wednesday on Google.com and to a packed auditorium of tech writers in San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art

Google Instant is like the familiar ’suggested search’ type-ahead, but on Javascript steroids: Typing even a single letter will fill the screen with results based on popular queries that begin with just that character. For example, starting a search on ‘S’ loads yield a top hit of Skype (Sears and sfgate.com for others).

Readers can see other suggestions below the search query box, and now additionally you see the word Google guessed for you in gray type ahead of what you’ve typed so far.

This allows the user to then accept that word by tabbing, or you can choose another suggestion by using the up or down. When you scroll through those, the results load, without you ever having to hit the return key.

“There is a psychic element because we can predict what you are about to search on in real time,” Google vice president Marissa Mayer told the press conference.

 

Mayer reminded the assembled that the idea of Google being able to guess what you want before you finish typing was so far out 10 years ago that it was the company’s April Fool’s joke.

It takes about 9 seconds to enter a search into Google, Mayer explained. With Google Instant, each search could take 2 to 5 seconds less time.

If everyone on the planet used Google Instant for their searches, she said, it would save about 3.5 billion seconds a day, or 11 hours saved every second.

Starting Wednesday, users running Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE8 in the U.S. will begin seeing the new results. Google is also rolling out the service to users in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Russia so long as they are signed-in.

 

Google screenshot Instant Answer Google instant search

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