|Search: now faster than the speed of type|
Search as you type. It’s a simple and straightforward idea—people can get results as they type their queries. Imagining the future of search, the idea of being able to search for partial queries or provide some interactive feedback while searching has come up more than a few times. Along the way, we’ve even built quite a few demos (notably, Amit Patel in 1999 and Nikhil Bhatla in 2003). Our search-as-you-type demos were thought-provoking—fun, fast and interactive—but fundamentally flawed. Why? Because you don’t really want search-as-you-type (no one wants search results for [bike h] in the process of searching for [bike helmets]). You really want search-before-you-type—that is, you want results for the most likely search given what you have already typed.
As you can imagine, searching even before someone types isn’t easy—which is why we are so excited today to be unveiling Google Instant. Google Instant is search-before-you-type. Instant takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions—yielding a smarter and faster search that is interactive, predictive and powerful.
Here are a few of the core features in Google Instant:
Here’s a video that explains Google Instant in greater depth:
The user benefits of Google Instant are many—but the primary one is time saved. Our testing has shown that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search. That may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. With Google Instant, we estimate that we’ll save our users 11 hours with each passing second!
As part of our current rollout, Google Instant will become the core search experience on Google.com for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 8. We’ll also be offering Google Instant to our users in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the U.K. who are signed in and have Instant-capable browsers. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll work to roll out Google Instant to all geographies and platforms.
We’re very excited about today’s announcement and hope that you are too. Give Google Instant a try and let us know what you think!
Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience Permalink
Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.
Did you know:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I turn off Google Instant?
If you don't want to see results as you type, you can turn off Google Instant by clicking the link next to the search box on any search results page, or by visiting your Preferences page.
Where is Google Instant available?
Google Instant is starting to roll-out to users on Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia who use the following browsers: Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8. Please note, users on domains other than Google.com can only access Google Instant if they are signed in to a Google Account. We will continue to add new domains and languages over the next several months.
Will Google Instant slow my Internet connection?
We anticipate that Google Instant will not slow your Internet connection, and we plan to automatically turn it off for very slow connections. Even though we are serving more results pages, the additional load this enhancement creates is very small when compared to other types of web services such as streaming video and online gaming. We’ve also worked hard to minimize the amount of data that is sent and received during the search process. For example, when rendering new results as you type, we only send the parts of the page that change, without updating the static elements, such as a the page frame around the results.
I love Google for its simplicity and I usually know what I want to type. Is Google Instant just a distraction for me?
With Google Instant you don’t lose any of the functionality that you know and love about Google. If you want to type your full search term and hit enter, that still works just as it always has. Even for the experienced searcher, though, instant feedback can help you narrow in on the precise results you want, which may have taken several searches before. On top of that, we estimate that about half of your searches will be returned in net zero time because the results you want will appear before you finish typing.
If an offensive or lewd word is a fraction of my query, will Google push these results in front of me as I type?
As always, we provide options to filter the content you see in search. You can choose to set SafeSearch to filter out explicit content, and parents can lock SafeSearch to the strict setting. In addition, autocomplete excludes certain terms related to pornography, violence and hate speech. Learn more about SafeSearch.
Does this change impact the ranking of search results?
No, this change does not impact the ranking of search results.
Is Google Instant available on mobile?
Google Instant is not yet available on mobile, but we plan to release it soon.