Google Search - Instant Magic

Sep 16, 2010 By Sri
Sri's picture
Google, the best way to find what you want on the Internet, just got even better - Google Instant, which will give you suggested results before you’re even done typing.
Google tries to guess what you want because it has knowledge of what many other people have searched for recently, that start with the same letters you have typed in so far. "It's not quite psychic, but it is very clever," said Othar Hansson, an engineer at Google.

Right now, as you type in what you’re looking for in the Google Search box, a list of “AutoComplete” suggestions drop-down below the box. For example, as you type “Hann..”, the first suggestion is “Hannah Montana”, followed by other popular suggestions like “Hannah Montana Forever”.

The new feature will show Search results for the most likely suggestion – results for “Hannah Montana” will show up even though all you typed in was “Hann”. If you continue to type, say “Hannibal”, the results will change to that!

Why is this a big deal?

Let's do some math. Google says that on an average,  it takes 25 seconds for someone to type in what they want, and click on a chosen result. Google Instant will shave off 3.5 seconds from that since you have to type less to get what you want. Ok.. here's the biggie. Google serves 300 million searches a day from people all over the world, so that's a saving of more than a million hours per day! Now people can spend more time on video games.. kidding.

It takes a lot of machines (called servers) to answer 300 million searches a day, but that is now multiplied several times since the search results change as you type. Kudos to the Google software engineers who wrote the code to make these searches run faster.

Did you know that Google engineers get free lunches, free massages, free gym workouts, free laundry services and so on - no wonder they produce such cool stuff!

Would you like to be a Software Engineer when you grow up?