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Google starts rolling out its Instant search feature in India

by Satrajit Sen

Google has started rolling out its latest search feature Google Instant in India. The company expects to complete the roll out across India by the end of this week. Google Instant aims to help users search before they finish typing. According to Google, Instant takes what the user has typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions.

by Satrajit Sen

Google has started rolling out its latest search feature Google Instant in India. The company expects to complete the roll out across India by the end of this week. Google Instant aims to help users search before they finish typing. According to Google, Instant takes what the user has typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions.

“Google Instant combines three core features — dynamic results, auto-complete predictions, and ‘scroll-to-search’ functionality — to deliver smart, predictive results as you type. This will bring the biggest change in search in the last 10 years,” said Ben Gomes, a distinguished engineer at Google.

According to Ben Gomes, an average user takes around 9 seconds to type in a search query and it takes 15 seconds in total to get the results back to the consumer. Google Instant is actually trying to reduce the time consumption that was earlier needed to search results for a query.

Ben Gomes informed that in just two weeks of the US launch of Google Instant, the company has observed an increase in the fraction of searches performed without hitting enter or clicking search.

“People are used to searching on Google by hitting enter or clicking ‘Search’ but we have been happy to see that people are quickly adjusting to the new experience. Search is getting more interactive. We have seen about a 7 per cent increase in on-the-fly editing of search queries,” Ben Gomes said.

Google also witnessed an increase in the relative number of search sessions starting on the Google home page, likely because the users want to use Instant. Google Instant currently works only on the Google home page and the results page, and not in other places such as browser search boxes, Google Toolbar and Chrome Omnibox.

Ben Gomes also clarified that in India, where internet connections are slow in many places, Google will examine the speed of the connection and turn off the Instant feature if needed. It will again be put on accordingly if the speed increases.

Answering a question raised by advertisers regarding the impact of Google Instant on SEM (paid search) results done on Google home page, Ben Gomes said that Instant has actually changed the way search is done on Google but the results remain the same.

“So, as far as the (SEM) advertisers are concerned, they should not face any issue as the results against the keyword they have advertised on will anyway appear in the search listings,” Ben Gomes assured.

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