Google Announces a Slew of New Features to Make Searching Even Faster

It’s a well-known fact that Google is obsessed with speed. Heck, they created a whole new browser, and even developed an alternative to the http protocol to speed things up. Now, they have announced four new features for its core search offerings that it hopes will enable the user to find the information he wants faster than ever before.

Google Voice Search: Voice search is something that the mobile edition of Google Search has been capable of doing for quite some time, and now Google is introducing the same feature to the desktop edition also. This feature will leverage the new HTML5 speech input API. As long as you have a mic and a browser that supports HTML5 voice recognition (currently that means only Chrome 11), you will be able to search the web through speech.

Google Search by Image: Google has been doing image recognition for quite some time through its remarkably cool Google Goggles app. Now it is adding similar capabilities to its desktop Google Image search. Users will be able to snap pictures, drag and drop existing images, or paste the link of an image to get relevant results.

Google Images with Instant: Almost a year after successfully launching Instant, Google is incorporating the same feature to its image search engine. For now, Instant for Google Images will be restricted only to users who opt in for the experiment. However, within the next couple of months, Google will roll it out to all domains and languages where Instant is already available for Search.

Google Instant Pages: One of Google’s earliest attempts at speeding up surfing was its ill-fated Web Accelerator software, which essentially prefetched pages (loaded web pages in advance). Although poor execution ensured that the Web Accelerator died a quick death, it did succeed in demonstrating that prefetching, if done smartly, can be advantageous. Now Google is baking in something similar into Chrome. On occasions where Google is fairly confident that the first result answers your query, it will load the page in advance. Instant Pages is currently limited to the developer version of Chrome, but will be included in the next beta of Chrome.

How To Enable/Test Instant Previews In Google Search

Earlier today, Google rolled out a new feature for search to complement , called Instant Previews. This new feature allows users to preview search results before they visit the actual page to see if the results are relevant.

Google Instant Preview

However, Instant Previews is not yet available to everyone. If you are waiting to try out this new feature or just curious about it, you can visit to start using them. Instant previews in Google search can be viewed by clicking on the magnifying glass icon next to the search results.

Google Launches Instant Previews for Search Results

Looks like Google wants to go the instant way for everything. After launching , they have now added a new feature to Google search which will display instant previews to users for search results.

Google Instant Previews

Google had started testing Instant previews in early October, with more widespread tests in end of October. The feature was finally released to public earlier today. With Instant previews, users will be able to see a graphic overview of a search result which highlights the most relevant sections related to the search terms.

This is definitely a good thing because it will now allow users to preview pages before they actually visit it. However, from a webmaster point of view this might reduce the number of clicks you see to your website.

Here are some of the key features of Google Instant Previews:

  • Quickly compare results – A visual comparison of search results helps you pick the one that’s right for you. Quickly flip through previews to see which page looks best.
  • Pinpoint relevant content – Text call outs, in orange, will sometimes highlight where your search terms appear on the webpage so you can evaluate if it’s what you’re looking for.
  • Interact with the results page – Page previews let you see the layout of a webpage before clicking the search result. Looking for a chart, picture, map or list? See if you can spot one in the preview.

Instant Previews is currently not available for everyone and will be rolled out gradually to users across the world in the next few days.

Google Instant Hits iOS Devices, Instant Search on iPhone and iPod Touch

was launched in September, and since then it has made searching easier on desktop and laptop computers. However, Google Instant was not ready for mobile devices and was supposed to launch in November.


Google Instant could already be used on devices using a hack. However, it looks like Google is now officially rolling our Instant search on iOS devices including the , and .

Instant search is currently not available for everyone and will be rolled out gradually. There is no official announcement about the rollout, though several blogs have managed to get Instant search on their devices.

Are you seeing Google Instant search on your iOS device yet?

Update: Google has officially announced Google Instant for mobile devices. It supports and iPhone and iPod Touch running . Watch a video of Google Instant for mobile below.

(Image Credit: 9to5 Mac)

Instant Search Goes Live For Google India

Almost a month ago Google released the Instant search feature on its homepage. Google Instant allows you to search for thingswithout having to refresh the page and also allows users to autocomplete the queries using a tab button. This will allow you to search without having to use the search button.

Initially Google Instant was not available in many countries including India. But Google has now finally started rolling out Google Instant in India (via and the roll-out is expected to complete all over India by the end of this week.

According to Ben Gomes – a distinguished engineer at Google clarified that in India and many other countries where broadband or fast internet connectivity has less penetration compared to US, Google will examine the speed of the connection and turn off the Instant feature automatically when needed. It will again be turned on automatically when the speed increases again. You can also read more about our Google Instant Search coverage.

Twitter Instant Follows YouTube Instant and Google Instant

It looks like we have to start bracing ourselves to hear the word "Instant" overdone in the next few weeks and months. After was launched a Stanford student created YouTube Instant and almost landed a job with .


Now, behold, someone has gone ahead and created a Instant search ( which works on the same fundamentals, results change as you type. However, it still has a lot work to do as far as the "guessing before you type" feature which both YouTube Instant and Google Instant have.

The author of Twitter Instant is riding the Instant wave and asks whether he should now ask for a job at Twitter. Twitter Instant aside, the fact that social media was leveraged and used to do something and then get a job offer in return will now see many such kickoffs where people do something interesting with a company’s product and then pitch it to them through social media in hope of a job or maybe just for fun.

Social media has definitely come a long way since it’s inception where people just wanted to keep in touch in friends. These days it has been used and sometimes overused for a variety of things including getting jobs, proposing to your girl/boy friend, pitching a product and more.

So are you going to follow the "Instant" wave and created something to please a company in hopes of landing a job? Considering the job market, this looks like the fastest way to land one, right?

(Source: TNW)

Google Continues Blocking Opera For No Apparent Reason

Google is a company that takes pride in its “Do no Evil” mantra and champions “openness”. Whether it is the Android operating system or the Chrome web browser, “open” is one word you have probably heard Google promoting. However, its actions suggest otherwise.

Recently, Google unveiled Instant Search, a potentially revolutionary feature that displays results as you type. This killer feature is supposed to work in all modern browsers. But, guess what? It doesn’t work in Opera, and it’s not quite Opera Software’s fault.

Google appears to be using browser sniffing (i.e. scripts that detect the browser being used to render the webpage) to block Opera users. Opera users accessing are greeted with the following message:

Google Instant is not available for your web browser.
Please upgrade to the latest version of a modern browser to use Google Instant.


Curiously enough, clicking on the “modern browser” hyperlink will take you to a webpage that (among others) recommends Opera. Of course, this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon to Opera users. Way back in 2004, Opera Software had filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft for providing Opera users an inferior MSN user experience. Google also has a history of purposefully and unnecessarily blocking Opera. One of the most recent examples is Google’s fancy doodles.

Fortunately, there is a way out for Opera users. The solution is to simply change Opera’s user agent to mimic Firefox. Here’s a quick guide to access Google Instant Search in Opera:

  • Open in Opera.
  • Right click on an empty spot in the page and select “Edit Site Preferences…” from the context menu.
  • Navigate to the “Network” tab and change the “Browser Identification” option to “Identify as Firefox”. Now you will be able to enable Google Instant Search.

via @brucel

Unfairly blocking competitors is anything but fair and open. It’s time that Google put its money where its mouth is. Even more importantly, it’s time that the talented engineers and coders at Google realized that browser sniffing is a really really bad idea.

Use Google Instant on Android Phones

At the press conference today, Google promised that would be available on Mobile devices starting this fall, however, it looks like you can start using it right away at-least on based phones.


To use Google Instant on your Android based cellphone, type in the URL in your Android browser. You might have to refresh the page a few times before you can start using the Google Instant Search. For easier access, you can set this URL as your home page too.

I tried this out on an and it did not work, so guess other phone users will have to wait till fall.

h/t Android Guys

How To Disable/Enable Google Instant Search

Google Instant is a new real-time search experience which provides results even before you can type and also allows you to quickly view results for autocomplete suggestions.

Google Instant Weather Results

Google Instant not only provides you with Instant search results, it also provides you with instant autocomplete suggestions to enhance your search experience. Google Instant will be rolled out to users across the world in a phased manner.

If you want to disable or enable Google Instant Search you will need to visit your preference page, and you can turn off Google Instant by clicking the link next to the search box on any search results page, or by visiting your Preferences page.

You can enable the Instant Search by visiting the Preferences page and clicking the link next to the search box again.

Tip: As a temporary solution, if you cannot enable the search right now, you can visit and click on the "Try it Now" button to enable it. You might have to clear cookies in order to disable it later on.

Google Instant Officially Announced

Google has officially announced the new search as you type results as "Google Instant" today at the Google Press Conference. The new "Google Instant" provides users with a real-time search results as you type.

Google Instant

Google Instant allows you to search for things without having to refresh the page and also allows users to autocomplete the queries using a tab button. This will allow you to search without having to use the search button.

Google Instant also allows you to browse autocomplete search suggestions by using your arrow keys to view results for a suggestion. According to Marrisa Mayer, Google’s VP of Search, Google Instant is not a search as you type, it is actually a "search before you type" as it calculates search results even before you type in the entire words.

Overall, Google Instant is definitely a great innovation in search and will make searching even more easier and faster. You can check out Google Instant search by visiting and find more info at the official Google blog.

Google Instant Benefits

Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.

Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.

Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.

Some Statistics about Google Instant

  • Before Google Instant, the typical searcher took more than 9 seconds to enter a search term, and we saw many examples of searches that took 30-90 seconds to type.
  • Using Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
  • If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.
  • 15 new technologies contribute to Google Instant functionality.