Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Google Instant Adds Predictive Search To Your Search Results

Google has unveiled the latest incarnation of the companies search page which now includes "Google Instant," or predictive, real-time search results.

Google Instant is something similar to the predictive text input found in most smarthphones, as with the previous Google search function as you type words appear in the search box. Now however the search page updates with new search results adding in each word typed. This new search-before-you-type instantly adds new search results to what you have typed, predicting the most likely completion of the sentence or words streaming results in real-time for those predictions. This gives users a smarter and faster search that is interactive, predictive and powerful.

Here are a few of the core features in 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.
Here’s a video from the Google Blog that explains Google Instant in greater depth:

To bring Google Instant to life, the company needed to implement several new technologies including a new caching systems, the ability to adaptively control the rate at which we show results pages and an optimization of page-rendering JavaScript to help web browsers keep up with the rest of the system. In the end, Google needed to produce a system that was able to scale while searching as fast as people can type and think—all while maintaining the relevance and simplicity people expect from Google.

For now Google is rolling out Google Instant to US users via for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 8. The company promises they will also be offering Google Instant to 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 there are plans to work to roll out Google Instant to all geographies and platforms.

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