Google testing new results page which updates as you type

The world's most popular search engine, Google, has confirmed it has begun limited testing of a new search results page that updates as you type your query.

SEO consultant Rob Ousbey spotted the change and recorded a video of the new-look page (embedded below), which a Google spokesperson today confirmed is in limited testing and one of "50-200 experiments" running at any one time on the popular search engine.

“At any given time we are running between 50-200 search experiments. You can learn more on our blog," Stricker told TechCrunch, pointing out this post from the official Google blog in 2006 which talks about the many experiments the company runs on their search engine.

As Ousbey types in his query, the search results page is reloaded automatically to reflect the new search terms - no action is needed by Ousbey to reload the page manually. Some have pointed out the impact this may have on Google's advertising product, AdWords, which displays ads alongside Google search results - but given the roll-out for the moment remains limited, advertisers are unlikely to be affected for the time being.

The latest experiment is perhaps one of the more radical undertaken since the search giant revealed their big new re-design earlier this year, which saw a cleaner layout and refresh of the Google logo for the first time in a long time. The company is also innovating at a much faster rate as underdogs such as Microsoft's Bing search engine begin to innovate and claim back some of Google's massive market share.

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70 Comments

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I guess it's a way to limit the search and no trace type.They more has been to innovate at all, without an acceleration of innovation there. The search engine at the end of the day is good, but the rest is new and does not contribute to Google because it is important and always searching.
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I don't like it. Looks like it will be a hell of a burden for users who's computers take a few moments to load a single page. Not to mention there is no point in getting search results (which impact minimally your bandwidth) of things you aren't looking for. I can be looking for Washington D.C. but I'll get results for car washes, how to wash things, and then George Washington search results before it finally gets to what I want.

Marshall said,
I hate how everything is becoming more and more geared towards the lazy and dull-witted.

Yes, I agree. Google should remain the search engine for the eletist class of web users, all ninety-some percent of them.

I do my own SEO for my site and its how I generate a lot of my business, this has me worried. I hope it doesnt change how people use google too much.

I think a better idea would be to show a small subset of the most relevant results as we type (a small dropdown list with just an image, web page name and description) and then display the entire result set when I press enter.

Drunken Beard said,
I think a better idea would be to show a small subset of the most relevant results as we type (a small dropdown list with just an image, web page name and description) and then display the entire result set when I press enter.

Good idea, or maybe just a small preview box instead of the top few relevant results to what is typed and the full list upon hitting enter.

Or what would be even cooler is to have several preview boxes that update as you type that has the original phrase you typed in the first, and suggested phrases on subsequent preview boxes and clicking on one of the preview areas would expand it to the width of the entire search results area revealing all the results for that particular search query.

That way people would be able to get a glimpse at what kind of results they'd get with a different search term/phrase and find exactly what they need?

I think a better idea would be to show a small subset of the most relevant results as we type (a small dropdown list with just an image, web page name and description) and then display the entire result set when I press enter.

Well don't forget they only actually have to limit the new searches to the results on the first page. It's called "Pagination"

bluefisch200 said,
My Macbook will die while doing this...i hope you can disable this feature or i will never use Google again...

This isn't gonna be rendered in Flash. Decent internet connection & a capable browser will do the job.

satanist said,

This isn't gonna be rendered in Flash. Decent internet connection & a capable browser will do the job.

With flash it will have a much lower cpu usage...that will kill any browser...i have problems to surf the web on pages with heavy javascript usage and that with a 20k connection and Opera (the fastest web browser so far)...

bluefisch200 said,

With flash it will have a much lower cpu usage...that will kill any browser...i have problems to surf the web on pages with heavy javascript usage and that with a 20k connection and Opera (the fastest web browser so far)...


Then what you really need is a new mac

bluefisch200 said,
My Macbook will die while doing this...i hope you can disable this feature or i will never use Google again...
Why would this kill your MacBook? I imagine it's a simple AJAX pull that re-renders a portion of the page. Safari, Chrome, and Firefox all handle page rendering and JS well enough.

azz0r_wugg said,
Innovation? lol How long as ajax been around? This is 3 divs being updated by some json. Puh-lease.

OK, now you write a backbone that can handle millions of requests at any one time...

azz0r_wugg said,
Innovation? lol How long as ajax been around? This is 3 divs being updated by some json. Puh-lease.

Its about WHAT they did, not how they did or implemented it.If you apply what you say on other websites (including youtube, facebook, and even any CMS), then none is innovative because HTML,java script and flash and been there for ages ! actually even Ajax is not innovative then cause its just a way to use old existing technology !!

In high technology its not about the original innovation always, in most of the cases its about what we can do by exploiting it.

It is for sure useful. Searching complex terms might take take a little time but with that feature, you can instantly change the search term without refreshing the page. Innovating feature for sure.

astroX said,
so there's no longer a need for the Search button, is there? Then why do I still see in the video? hmmm....

There NEVER has been, the enter key does it - I've always wondered why people enter search terms, then move the hand to the mouse to click the search button, but that will also be the reason it's still in the video - some people will never understand that concept.

Exosphere said,

There NEVER has been, the enter key does it - I've always wondered why people enter search terms, then move the hand to the mouse to click the search button, but that will also be the reason it's still in the video - some people will never understand that concept.

can you explain me the concept please?

astroX said,
can you explain me the concept please?
Are you being serious?, I even explained it above. ENTER key is king.

astroX said,
so there's no longer a need for the Search button, is there? Then why do I still see in the video? hmmm....

I didn't even realise there was a search button! I've never clicked it..would be interesting if they could get stats on how many people actually click it

astroX said,
so there's no longer a need for the Search button, is there? Then why do I still see in the video? hmmm....

considering that this requires some form of client side scripting(probably javascript/ajax), any computer that has javascript scripts turned off would make the site unusable so the search button still has a point.

ILikeTobacco said,

considering that this requires some form of client side scripting(probably javascript/ajax), any computer that has javascript scripts turned off would make the site unusable so the search button still has a point.


Unless they happen to have the Enter key

Exosphere said,
Are you being serious?, I even explained it above. ENTER key is king.

Of course not. I just think it's hilarious when people explain obvious things

AKLP said,
its kind of useless though

No. As others have said; it could mean that there's less typing needed to get the results you were interested in. Good thing.

sundayx said,
Wouldn't this kill their servers?

They had a million (est.) last year. I'm sure they can manage it.

sounds like fun, now you can unintentionally get porn sites in your results whilst searching for analysts or similar starting words.

would be funny if some porn sites buried a worm in an image and then used seo to make it show up in google search results as a top image for something, virii from google.com yay!

Colin-uk said,
sounds like fun, now you can unintentionally get porn sites in your results whilst searching for analysts or similar starting words.

would be funny if some porn sites buried a worm in an image and then used seo to make it show up in google search results as a top image for something, virii from google.com yay!

When you type anal, analytics is the first keyword they suggest so you wouldn't get any porn - until you do a space of course

Colin-uk said,
sounds like fun, now you can unintentionally get porn sites in your results whilst searching for analysts or similar starting words.

would be funny if some porn sites buried a worm in an image and then used seo to make it show up in google search results as a top image for something, virii from google.com yay!


When you get worms is it always from porn sites because I never get worms and I visit porn sites a lot.

nub said,
seems pretty useless
Maybe to you, but seeing results whilst you type can save a lot of typing, many people type in far too many key words when just a few will do.

nub said,
seems pretty useless

I use the predictive search terms all the time, saves time on typing. This will save even more time. Great feature.

SK[ said,]

I use the predictive search terms all the time, saves time on typing. This will save even more time. Great feature.

It would be good if tabbing would pick the next word in the autocomplete list. Save even more typing!

DomZ said,

It would be good if tabbing would pick the next word in the autocomplete list. Save even more typing!

You can press up/down to cycle through the list.

Louisifer said,

You can press up/down to cycle through the list.

Yeh I'm aware of that, but if you've ever used tab autocomplete in a terminal or something similar it works wonders

what said,
In all fairness, all you're downloading is a bunch of plain text in real-time.

I saw thumbnails in those results too .. and it doesn't matter - whether you're downloading text or images, dial up is archaic.

koppit said,
hopefully you're on high speed when using this .. dialup could be painful.
I think Google knows how to gauge someone's bandwidth and provide targeted services. They just look up IP addresses and once they have information about ISPs and their IP ranges, it will be a snap for them to load balance. All they need is a zillion servers caching search results data for this to work.

Jan said,
Would be nice if the pages faded when typing something else, it would look nicer.

Tell them. If they like it, they will do it. Who do you think said to them they should add an ability to hide a search result by clicking a little 'x'? brag*ME*brag ....hehe

Saw a page with this sort of functionality a while back. Nice to see Google is finally "innovating" and adopting ideas from the nobodies.

Recon415 said,
Saw a page with this sort of functionality a while back. Nice to see Google is finally "innovating" and adopting ideas from the nobodies.

I don't think anybody is claiming this is innovating, it is simply a natural progression of the Internet.

The reason why it takes so long to do this stuff, server power, bandwidth and also crazy things like carbon footprint.

A single search now becomes a search every time a single character is typed. What they are actually testing I would guess is a way to limit the search and lower the footprint the more you type.

Perhaps sending more information initially, then allowing your computer to search through the data it has already received with just adding a little more.

Recon415 said,
Saw a page with this sort of functionality a while back. Nice to see Google is finally "innovating" and adopting ideas from the nobodies.

"Innovate" is Neowin's words here, not Google's.

stevember said,

I don't think anybody is claiming this is innovating, it is simply a natural progression of the Internet.

The reason why it takes so long to do this stuff, server power, bandwidth and also crazy things like carbon footprint.

A single search now becomes a search every time a single character is typed. What they are actually testing I would guess is a way to limit the search and lower the footprint the more you type.

Perhaps sending more information initially, then allowing your computer to search through the data it has already received with just adding a little more.

Actually by the looks of the video it is only refreshing every time a new word is typed

stevember said,

I don't think anybody is claiming this is innovating, it is simply a natural progression of the Internet.

The article said,

The company is also innovating at a much faster rate as underdogs such as Microsoft's Bing search engine begin to innovate and claim back some of Google's massive market share.

Highly disagree. The author must be stuck in his Google world... Yes we all had a dream of the day searching would be in real-time, it just sucked up a lot of power. And recently Google has been redesigning to keep up with Bing's innovations.

Yes I use both Google and Bing but I use Bing because it is more pleasant to use and is always improving. Google on the other hand, has redesigned their homepage to the point it was news that it was a complete copy of Bing's daily background images. Look at the results now with the sidebar or the images search. It all reminds me of Bing's similar layout. They haven't been innovating at all, no accelerated rate of innovation exists. The search engine at the end of the day is good, but the rest isn't an innovation and doesn't help Google since what matters and always has is the search engine.

Electric Jolt said,

Highly disagree. The author must be stuck in his Google world... Yes we all had a dream of the day searching would be in real-time, it just sucked up a lot of power. And recently Google has been redesigning to keep up with Bing's innovations.

Yes I use both Google and Bing but I use Bing because it is more pleasant to use and is always improving. Google on the other hand, has redesigned their homepage to the point it was news that it was a complete copy of Bing's daily background images. Look at the results now with the sidebar or the images search. It all reminds me of Bing's similar layout. They haven't been innovating at all, no accelerated rate of innovation exists. The search engine at the end of the day is good, but the rest isn't an innovation and doesn't help Google since what matters and always has is the search engine.


And let's not forget Google copying infinity scrolling from Bing Image to Google Image a few months ago. This real time search will just overload the Google server and ****ed off advertisers.

At the end of the day, nobody is going to like a flashing search page with stuff changing every time you type a character. It's a stupid idea to begin with to update the search page with >=10 results every few milliseconds.