Google Announces Instant Feature

Google has brought out a major new feature called Google Instant which it is presenting as a "faster way to find information", one that we tried, behind closed doors at Google UK HQ in Victoria.

Internally known as project "search to the point of no return", the update promised to infuse a serious boost to Google's Caffeine algorithm by allowing users to instantly display search results as the query is typed in the search field.

Google says that if every Google searcher used the service, it could save up to 11 human hours every second or (112 human years every day).

Engineers at Google say that around 3.5 seconds will be saved per search query and come mainly from the estimated 24 seconds that entering a search and clicking on the desired link takes; indeed, serving the results from Google's server only account for four percent of the time taken for an average search.

In practice, Google Instant will allow results to be dynamically displayed as the results are being typed with Google trying to accurately predict the rest of the query and encourages the user to interact with the query through what it calls a "scroll to search" function that can be controlled using the arrow keys only.

Google Instant will be available to users that are signed in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia and the UK as well as users in English.

In the wake of the announcement, Google has also renamed Google Suggest to "Autocomplete", one which it hopes will shave up to 50 per cent off the time taken for a user to enter a typical query.

Google says that Google Instant may increase the amount of search queries by up to 700 per cent, which means that in the long run, the search engine may end up serving around two trillion search queries per year.

Clara Armand-Delille, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager at Google UK told ITProPortal that "our focus is to help users find information quickly and easily" before adding that "Today’s change makes search fast, predictive and easier to use. We estimate that Instant saves the average person between 2-5 seconds every time they search."