Live Updating Google 'Instant' Search Results

This story was published on August 20th, 2010.

Earlier today, I noticed that my Google results were centered in the middle of the page. This evening, I spotted that you don't even need to hit the 'Search' button anymore - Google updates the results for you while you're typing.

I recorded this quick video to show the SERPs page changing as I amend my query.

(or: watch this video in high-definition.)

Has anyone else seen this yet? It's a testament to the speed of not just Google, but also broadband internet and web browers!

Update: Sources including the Google Operating System blog have referred to this as Google 'streaming' the search results. Indeed, you can see in the video that they offer a link to 'Turn off streaming.'

Further update: Google has launched the product I demoed in this video, under the name Google Instant; this will be rolled out to people over the next few days.

(NB: Cheesy music added because I wanted to try out YouTube's audio-swap feature. The screen capture was recorded using Screentoaster, which I've never used before, but was pretty awesome.)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 22:41.

Just happened to me out of the blue. I gotta say it looks cool for the first search, but then it is just pretty annoying. Page reloads so fast it is gonna give me a seizure. I don't see the point of this novelty. Anyone know how to turn it off?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 22:42.

To answer about the browser, I'm currently using Chrome. It does not do it for me on Firefox or Safari.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 04:02.

I have it too... Very cool feature

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 04:03.

and the browser is Firefox under windows XP

Submitted by Pete G (not verified) on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 08:41.

Hi Rob,

Excellent post and a really good spot thanks for this.

Ignore the ridiculous comments, this could be a big deal to online marketing and is definitely something us online marketers need to be aware of.

I missed this so thanks for the post


Pete G

Submitted by Lou (not verified) on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 03:29.

This is an interesting idea which, when implemented just doesn't work (for the majority). I'm one of those who has been 'selected' lol. It's highly distracting whilst typing, for every letter you type, you see mega amounts of information flashing before your eyes – how's this for simplicity? It's actually very annoying and off putting and serves no actual purpose other than to confuse and distract the user from their original search. It's 'bamboozaling' seeing stuff flash by, and unless I type very slowly, literally, one letter every 15 seconds, I can't take it all in anyway.

Technically, implementation has been done well – but, sometimes it *is* just better not to do things purely just because you can and because it sounds good in a brainstorming session. I'm sure lots of thought went into development, implementation and even potential profit, and as with every innovative technical idea, I'm sure their egos were massaged, but it seems the last thing they thought about was the average end user; in terms of an end user product it's a confused, directionless, ill thought out and indecisive 'fail-whale'.

Google has been my homepage for years, and whilst I have grown to find them gradually getting more 'faffy' I have been too lazy to change it, but this has prompted me to finally do so. Mainly because, what interests me about this test more than anything else, is that everyone I read who is seeing this on their PC, is in the SEO industry in one way or another. Now, I do not use Google products at all, do not use anything to do with their browser, do not use their analytics, and I do not use their Gmail, but I suspect they have somehow managed to profile me with just cookies – even though I occasionally delete them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 09/06/2010 - 12:47.

In a website explaining how to use it

Submitted by Lupin (not verified) on Tue, 09/07/2010 - 14:13.

I just noticed this feature on german google ( Apparently it is not enabled for everybody, but for some reason it was enabled for me... but just until i closed firefox (it deletes cookies when I close firefox) and reloaded google, then the feature was gone and I don't see how i can activate it again.

It's quite nice to have a live search, but I would think that it generates a lot of traffic (don't know if it's worth it). Just think of the extra load and power consumption of the google servers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/09/2010 - 04:40.

Hope this time you will not delete my message.
Watch this at youtube. It gives more information about it (the search).

Submitted by Design Vibe SEO (not verified) on Sat, 10/23/2010 - 17:03.

Great video i never notcied this, well done or spotting :)

Thanks for sharing.

Submitted by Design Vibe SEO (not verified) on Sun, 10/31/2010 - 07:20.

If Google implement this, I can see it having a big impact on AdWords. Seems like your impressions would go way up, as people correct what they're typing, or change their mind. Be interesting to see what happens with this.

Submitted by Galvaniz (not verified) on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 08:33.

Waiting to see this feature here in ukraine too!

Submitted by Rajib Kumar (not verified) on Thu, 01/27/2011 - 07:19.

Hey, thanks for share..

Submitted by SEO Experts (not verified) on Mon, 02/21/2011 - 08:30.

I find this feature very distracting and unfortunately require it to be turned off whilst searching on Google.

Submitted by Roman (not verified) on Sat, 07/16/2011 - 04:20.

I just switch it off, it is boring for me.

Submitted by Kevin Brake (not verified) on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 21:53.

Great stuff. I have found this article very usefull and felt that I should leave you a comment to thank you for the effort you have made here

Nifty Tips

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/22/2011 - 14:49.

I can also see the blended results playing bigger part in attracting click-thrus - If a user is typing a long-tail query, they could easily be stopped mid-way through by product/image results for part of the query I imagine. Would be interesting to see some eye tracking videos if Google were to go ahead with this update properly.

Submitted by adam (not verified) on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 19:28.

I would turn the feature off. Most people type fast enough where that feature would just be annoying as the screen is constantly changing.

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