Google Instant is a search enhancement that shows results as we type. Google is pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help us get better search results, faster. Google’s key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds to glance at another part of the page. This means that people can scan a results page while they type.
The most obvious change is that we get to the right content much faster than before because we don’t have to finish typing our full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as we type helps us formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. We can now adapt our search on the fly until the results match exactly what we want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.
Faster Searches: By predicting our search and showing results before we finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for, predictions help guide our search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so we can stop typing as soon as we see what we need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before our eyes. Until now, we had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as we type, helping us see where we’re headed, every step of the way.
Did you know:
- Before Google Instant, the typical searcher took more than 9 seconds to enter a search term, and we saw many examples of searches that took 30-90 seconds to type.
- Using Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
- If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.
- 15 new technologies contribute to Google Instant functionality.