Google Instant Streaming Search Results Eliminate the Search Button

The Google streaming search results are here. Already leaked and seen in the wild by users, the new Google search updates on the fly, as you type, without you having to hit the search button when you're done. They call it Google Instant.

To recap, here are some of the recent search changes at Google.

This is what a search looks like right now. The user-interaction part where you type in a query and selecting a result takes the most time.

Here's a video showing Google Instant. You can try it out by visiting this site and setting that as your home page.

The search results automatically pop up as you're typing, complete with auto-corrections. If your search has various suggestions, you can scroll up and down to each selection and the page will automatically update to reflect what would happen if you had actually searched for that.

Google says it's not exactly "search as you type", but they predict what you're likely to type and bring you results for that, instead of the half of a word you typed.

A screenshot of it working, showing the result of what Google thinks I'm going to type when I've only typed "Goo".

Google Instant will be available on Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 8. It'll roll out as part of Google's homepage and search results starting today, but they'll roll out in the next week internationally (for people who are signed in), in these countries:

Here are the pieces that Google say make up the pie. Instant results, Predictions and Scroll to Search.

A sample Google search: Typing the letter "W" predicts that you're going to look for weather and knows your location, so it looks up weather for you in your location after just one keypress.

Prediction! If someone types in "the gi" when you don't know the entire title of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, it'll predict the title for you and show you results so you can see if it's what you want.

And scrolling to search gives you various information, say, if you want to take a holiday to Yosemite, the predictions are stuff like, weather, maps, lodgings and other likely results you'd want if you searched for this.

When all three gears come together, this is what you get. Feedback.

In Google's example, they show that three searches (searching for a a title, searching for the title + musical, searching for the title + musical + tickets to find tickets) can be combined into "one" search, because you get auto-predict and streaming results when you continue to type.


Google Instant is coming to mobiles, in the future. It works the same way as it does on the desktop. It's coming later this year.

Some interesting Q&A results from Google's page:

Q: Will Google Instant slow my Internet connection?

A: 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.

Q: If an offensive or lewd word is a fraction of my query, will Google push these results in front of me as I type?

A: 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.

This will be on web browsers (Chrome), from the search box, in the next few months.

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