Google search accelerates with 'instant' results

September 8, 2010 6:33:33 PM PDT
It may seem like searching for something on Google is already ready pretty fast, but it is getting even faster, shaving two, maybe even up to five precious seconds, off users' search time.

"I just type one letter, "w," and I get my results and I know the weather in San Francisco, it's that fast," Google engineer Ben Rome said.

It is called Google Instant -- the latest upgrade to the popular search engine.

With as little as one key stroke the search engine begins looking for what users want before they have even finished typing and without hitting the search or enter key.

"We use all the queries that people type in to make the best guess at what you want," Rome said.

It is Google's attempt to anticipate what people are looking for.

"I'm embarrassed to admit this but it is kind of what we wanted to make Google -- the third half of your brain," Google founder Sergey Brin said. "I'm astounded by the rate of innovations of interface."

Today an average search takes about nine seconds to enter a query and 15 seconds to display results. Google Instant shaves about five seconds off each search.

Within a year the company says they will save 350 million search hours.

While Wednesday's announcement was met with a lot of "wows," Instant could pose some challenges.

Google ad revenue amounted to $24 billion last year. The push towards "instant" searching could affect how and where an ad is displayed.

"There are as lot of questions being asked right now like, 'Well if the results come up instantly and my ads come up and change all the time, will that hurt me because if users see an add and don't click on it then the ad drops down in the ranking,'" Wall Street Journal writer Amir Efrati said.

Google Instant will start appearing on computers in the next few days. Mobile devices will have Instant in a few months.


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