On Wednesday Google announced its latest enhancement called Instant. Instant is a smart feature that predicts what you’d like to search and displays results as you type. For example, if I start to type Flyover Geeks in my google search box, once I get to the “v” I start to see results for Flyover Geeks. As I type it continues to give more word suggestions as to what I may be looking for.
The enhancement is quite nice because a user doesn’t have to completely type a phrase to get results. It cuts your search time to about 2 — 5 seconds per search because one uses less key strokes and doesn’t have to click search to garner results. 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. This is awesome for SEO developers because Google’s instant can help formulate keywords based on what the average user types. Kind of takes some of the guess work out of predicting user searches. So its a win win for developers and users. Google says that 15 different technologies are involved in the new feature which were not detailed at launch. AJAX appears to be one of them but we’ll keep watching to see.
If Google Instant isn’t for you, it can be turned off via the preferences option on the right hand side of the search box. Google says it will not slow down your internet connection and is only available to the following browsers at this time: Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8. Google Instant is being soft launched to its US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia domains only. On its homepage, Google states that Instant may not be available to everyone. So sit tight its on the way. Sorry mobile users, its not accessible to you yet either.
How long do you think it’ll take for other search engines to follow suit?