Google‘s big search event is over. It went on for a solid 90 minutes, but in the end, only one thing was announced: Google Instant.
So what is Google Instant, and what took so long? Here’s what you need to know:
- Users who go to Google’s home page now see search results updating live as they type text into the search bar.
- That means you can get search results by pressing a single letter key.
- The live search results aren’t based just on what you’ve typed so far, but rather on Google’s best guess at what you will end up typing, as predicted by Google Suggest.
- Yes, you can turn it off if you find that irritating.
- The feature is already live in the United States in Chrome, Firefox, IE 8, and Safari. More countries will be brought into the fold over the course of the next week. A mobile version is expected within the next few months.
- Google won’t show results for searches it deems inappropriate unless you actually hit enter or click the search button.
- Everyone at Google thinks this is going to be huge. It sounds very minor at first, but the more we think about it, the more we think it could have a big impact on how people search. Expect Bing to copy this as quickly as Google has copied all of Bing’s recent innovations.
- So far, people are responding positively to it. Which, presumably, Google already knew they would, since it doesn’t make the slightest move in search without plenty of A/B testing.