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Tech WWWorld – Google Launches Instant Search, Yahoo Adds Handwritten Queries

Google continues to innovate in search business and has launched ‘Instant’ search experience that throws up the search results as you type.

Notable features of Google Instant are:

  • Dynamic Results – Google dynamically displays relevant search results as you type so you can quickly interact and click through to the web content you need.
  • Predictions – One of the key technologies in Google Instant is that we predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing. See what you need? Stop typing, look down and find what you’re looking for.
  • Scroll to search – Scroll through predictions and see results instantly for each as you arrow down.

Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type. – details

To bring Google Instant to life, we needed a host of new technologies including new caching systems, the ability to adaptively control the rate at which we show results pages and an optimization of page-rendering JavaScript to help web browsers keep up with the rest of the system. In the end, we needed to produce a system that was able to scale while searching as fast as people can type and think—all while maintaining the relevance and simplicity people expect from Google.

With Google Instant, we estimate that we’ll save our users 11 hours with each passing second!– blog

This is a great launch enabling Google to get more information about the search terms people use and ofcourse, show more search volumes.

Watch this Bob D’s video.

Yahoo too launches something

Aside, Yahoo has launched a new feature in Taiwan and Hong Kong that enables users to ‘hand-write’ queries on the writing panel.

To use the handwriting feature, first open the writing panel next to the search button (make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player).  When you finish drawing a Chinese character, you’ll see up to six candidate characters that best match the character you drew. After you select the character you want, you may see search suggestions, saving you even more keystrokes on long queries.

The difference between Yahoo and Google is simple – Yahoo does incremental feature additions, while Google takes the leap (after millions of bucket tests).
Yahoo did a similar feature (to Google Instant) few years back, but never had the courage to roll it out [read this piece by an ex-product manager, Google Instant is an example of how Yahoo could have won in search].
Recommended Read : Matt Cutt’s QnA on Google Instant (and what it means for SEO).


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