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Google takes search Instant

New Google Instant 'search-before-you-type' will save 2-5 seconds per search

Google Instant could save 3.5 billion seconds per day.
Google Instant could save 3.5 billion seconds per day.

Google has enhanced the speed it takes to make internet searches, with the launch of Google Instant.

The new service will show results for searches as the user is typing them, which will help users more quickly find the information they are looking for, saving 2-5 secconds per search.

Google describers the service as ‘search-before-you-type', with Instant taking the letters that have been typed already, and predicting the most likely completion and streaming results in real-time for those predictions.

Instant will also show the top predictions for each search directly in the search box, so that the user can stop typing as soon as they see the information they want.

The enhancement, which includes 15 new technologies, was developed in response to the growing demand for information, and to make search quicker and more efficient. Google said that most people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds to glance at another part of the page, meaning that the average user can scan a results page as they type.

The service is initially being rolled out to Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia, and only for the certain browsers, namely Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8. Users on domains other than Google.com can only access Google Instant if they are signed in to a Google Account.

Google says the service wont slow internet connections, but that they will disable it automatically for very slow internet connections.

Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience posted on an official Google blog: "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.

"The user benefits of Google Instant are many-but the primary one is time saved. Our testing has shown that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search. That may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. With Google Instant, we estimate that we'll save our users 11 hours with each passing second," she added.