Google Instant: A More Innovative Approach to Search

Thursday, September 9, 2010 | 10:05 AM

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Editor's Note: As part of our current rollout, Google Instant will become the core search experience on for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE 8. We’ll also be offering Google Instant to our users in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the U.K. who are signed in and have Instant-capable browsers. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll work to roll out Google Instant to all geographies and platforms.

Today, we announced the launch of Google Instant, an innovative new interface that creates an interactive search experience for users by predicting their query as they type and instantly showing updated results. By providing users with this immediate feedback, they’re able to refine their searches more quickly and find the results that more precisely match what they need.

Google Instant is starting to roll-out to users on Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia who use the latest browsers (Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8). Please note, users on domains other than can only access Google Instant if they are signed in to a Google Account. We will continue to add new domains and languages over the next several months.

This new interface applies to both search results and related ads. Therefore, we expect increased user engagement with our search services, including ads.

Although Google Instant doesn’t change the way ads are served, ads and search results will now be shown based on the "predicted search." For example, if someone types "flow" into, our algorithms predict that the user is searching for "flowers" (the predicted search) and therefore display both search results and ads for “flowers”. However, if that user then adds the letter "c" to the query, our algorithms may predict that the user is searching for "flowchart" and show the corresponding natural and paid results for flowchart.

Example 1: User types "flow"

Example 2: User types "flowc"

As a result, Google Instant changes the way we think about impressions. With Google Instant, an impression is counted if a user takes an action to choose a query (for example, presses the Enter key or clicks the Search button), clicks a link on the results page, or stops typing for three or more seconds.

It's possible that this feature may increase or decrease your overall impression levels. However, Google Instant may ultimately improve the quality of your clicks since it helps users type queries that more directly connect them with the answers they need.

Here’s a video that explains Google Instant in greater depth:

For more information on this interactive new feature, please visit the AdWords Help Center.