Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Google Introduces Google Instant

By Abby Draper

Through all of this week, Google has been modifying their logo in anticipation of a press conference said to announce something new in search technology. On Tuesday, the Google logo was spelled out with balls that turned into a game as you rolled your mouse over the letters. This morning, “Google” appeared grey until text was entered and it changed to its usual bright colors.

At 12:30 EST, we watched online as Google introduced “Google Instant.” Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, began the conference by discussing some of the new features of Google Search in 2010 including: Google Caffeine, Real-Time Search, timeline views, spell corrections, enhancements to its Q&A, stars in search, and the redesign of Google itself, by playing the commercial they launched during the Superbowl.

Mayer went on to explain that while these changes have made Google search much more productive, the current search time is still too long. According to Google, it takes a user nine seconds to enter a query, 800 ms for networking time, 300 ms for serving results, 15 seconds to select a search result, and most people take extra time to think. With these stats, Mayer introduced “A Fundamental Shift to Search – Google Instant.”

Google Instant, which will roll out slowly through the day, allows you to see search results as you type.

“Google Instant delivers results instantly in a way that has never been done before," said Jonathan Effrat, Google product manager, in a video about Google Instant. "Now, results appear automatically as you type, with no need to hit enter or click the search button. as soon as you see what need predicted in gray text, you can stop typing, and just look down to find your results waiting...see results instantly lets you refine your search as you type — looking for a bird? A map? A recipe? You'll know instantly if you're on the right track to finding what you want."

Mayer was joined on stage by Johanna Wright, Director of Product Management, and Othar Hansson, Senior Staff Software Engineer who took us all through several examples of how Google Instant works, proving its incredible speed and ability to predict what you’re searching for.

While Google has had a few issues in the recent past with other efforts like Google Buzz, it seems as though Google Instant has launched without a hitch. We will find out for sure today!

Abby Draper is the Manager of Social Media. Contact her at

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