Google testing instant search feature

Google has reportedly been trying out a new feature that will see your search results update as you type.

Rob Ousbey, a UK-based search engine optimisation consultant, noticed Google trying out a new feature in which search results are dynamically streamed as the user types.

Google has refused to confirm or deny that it is testing the technology, but a source close to the company confirmed that Ousbey's video was authentic.

The source said that the technology was being tried out on a limited basis, and that there was no guarantee the feature would ever be made widely available.

For those worried that the bandwidth-gobbling feature could bring the Internet to a standstill, Ousbey later posted that the feature, which he says is referred to on Google's Operating System blog as 'streaming', can be turned off. A link labelled 'Turn off streaming' can be be seen in Ousbey's video.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group, told Computerworld that he expected the feature to place a heavy load on Google's servers, which currently handle around a billion searches a day.

He added, though, that the new feature, if successful, would give the search giant a serious competitive advantage.

"Google has built out a tremendously robust infrastructure... If [the new technology] became a big hit, other search engines would have a hard time keeping up."

According figures released last week by market research company Experian Hitwise, Google still dominates the search market, with an overall share of 71.43 per cent. But with rivals such as Bing and Yahoo eating into its share of markets such as shopping-related queries, Google will be anxious to press home its technological advantage.