Instant Google

After all sorts of new ideas, some good and some bad, and talk of Google Music, Google TV and a host of other applications, the company has just announced an enhancement to the area in which it excels and for which it is most widely known, namely ‘searching for things’.

Google has just launched Google Instant, a speedy new search offering that lets users search as they type. With Google Instant, the search engine technology is capable of predicting a user’s search query before he or she finishes typing.

Typing a single letter already starts the ball rolling. Google has designed a base alphabet set -w takes many people to weather as an initial search query – although the Google Suggest technology, which helps to power the predictions, means that a few of the one letter predictions will be influenced by such things as your browser history or your Google Account.

Google Instant will save typical searchers between two and five seconds per query, bringing the average query time down from approximately 24 seconds to around 20 seconds. The company also estimates that “dynamically predicting what people search for reduces the time it takes to enter a typical query by 50 per cent”.

For the anoraks, Google currently answers 1 billion search queries per day and describes this move as a ‘fundamental change’ that will save the world’s internet users a combined 11 hours per second, or 111 years per day.

In practice?

Quite impressive. The pages begin loading as soon as you begin typing, saving you having to actual click the ‘search button’, which does save time.

You can either just carry on typing or choose one of the ‘best guesses’ (Mr Spock wouldn’t approve), shown in grey text just below the search box. Every letter typed changes the scenario and, who knows, could even send you off at an interesting tangent.

Definitely a time-saver, if nothing else, but could be a lot more once you delve into it.

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