Google has today launched the most radical change to their default search interface since launching: Google Instant.
Google Instant presents Google search results while you are typing your search query, or what Google describes as search-before-you-type. Google Instant “takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions—yielding a smarter and faster search that is interactive, predictive and powerful.”
The predictive engine though goes a lot further than simple word substitution. Depending on where you live, typing the letter W might automatically prompt you with your local weather (it doesn’t in Australia, but it does offer a link to the Bureau of Meteorology.)
The key to the offering is speed: using Ajax you no longer need to type in a query and hit return, instead the results appear as you type, which some are claiming delivers “turbo charged” search.
The general consensus so far is that Google Instant is a huge leap forward, but we would warn: it is a radical change. The constantly moving search results as you type do take some getting use to, and no doubt some Google users will prefer old fashioned search.
Google Instant is currently available to all users in the United States, and will be rolled out across the world in the coming weeks. If you live outside of the United States, you should be able access to Google Instant now by visiting the Google Instant page here. Note though you must be logged into your Google account to try it out, and it may only work through Google.com at this time.
If you’ve tried Google Instant, let us know what you think with this poll: