Google speeds up search with Google Instant

Predictive search that narrows results as you type is expected to save two to five seconds per query, according to Google

Google morning raised the stakes in the search space on Wednesday with the introduction of Google Instant, which will provide faster, more intelligent searching and results on the company's site.

The intelligence built into the Google Instant service responds to predicted queries based on just a few keystrokes. Google Instant will become part of the core Google search service, with initial rollouts today in the United States.

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"Google Instant actually gets queries and gets your search results as you type," with results streamed to the user's computer, said Marissa Mayer, Google vice president of search products and user experience, in a presentation in San Francisco.   

"We estimate Google Instant will help our users save two to five seconds per query," which actually is significant, Mayer said. "Over the course of a year, we anticipate that Google Instant will save 350 million hours of our users' time."

The service will revolutionize the way users interact with a search engine, Johanna Wright, Google director of product management, pledged.

Google Instant will be rolled out Wednesday on the Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 8 browsers. It will be  introduced in several European countries next week, including the U.K., France, and Russia.

Mayer gave a demonstration on how Google Instant found the name of a painting at the SFMOMA museum, where the event was taking place, in just six keystrokes.

Michael Hussey, founder and CEO of PeekYou, a "people-search engine," offered an immediate reaction: "I've been using Google Instant for the past few hours -- amazing. Totally took me off guard. This is a true game-changer, stealing any momentum Bing has been working so hard to cultivate. For the average user, I suspect there will be a slight learning curve to fully appreciate what instant results will mean to them." 

Google Instant follows previous enhancements, such as auto-complete for typing of queries. Google officials also previewed a mobile version of Google Instant planned for mobile phones this fall.

This article, "Google speeds up search with Google Instant," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter.

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