What Is Google Instant?

Google's just announced Google Instant! They say it's going to transform search forever - making it faster, better, stronger. But what is it, exactly?

It's predictive search... Should you activate Google Instant Search, you'll start seeing search results as soon as you start typing.You'll also be shown a range of possible queries in grey to refine your options, all before you ever hit the "Search" button.

...that saves you time... Google estimates that Google Instant will save people an average of 2-5 seconds per search. The reason? We read faster than we type, and predictive search pretty much takes typing out of the equation. If every Google user around the world switched to Instant, we'd save 3.5 billion seconds a day.

...(unless you're looking for porn)... While the normal SafeSearch filters - like those used in image searches - apply, Google Instant draws the line at "pornography, violence and hate speech". Which means that when you try to autocomplete a generic "porn" search, you're stuck with this:

...that's already here for some users... There's a good chance you've already got Google Instant up and running, but if not, don't feel too left out; it's going to take a couple of days for the service to hit all Google users, and a bit longer than that to hit mobiles - Google says that it's not available in the immediate future for phones, but it should be coming "soon". In any case, if you don't like it, you're not forced to use it; next to every search box will be a link that lets you turn Instant off or on as you please.

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