A WHOPPING FIVE SECONDS per search can be saved by Google users if they use the company's Google Instant service that is available from today for computers and later this year for mobile devices.
Instant will immediately start searching using a predictive text style user interface that does not require the user to hit enter to produce search results. As well as search outcomes, the user gets suggested search terms and using the down cursor key those can be selected. Hitting the search button will truncate the search to just what users typed in.
From today, Instant is available to all users on google.com in English and to signed-in users in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia and the UK, which of course also speaks English. Other countries, such as Japan, will get Instant in the coming months. Instant works on Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8 and can be found here now.
Along with platitudes from Google executives that got dangerously close to using the word magical we now know SEO and click through rates won't change because clicks are still needed, Google Suggest is being renamed Autocomplete and that it will take a "few months" before Instant becomes an embedded part of Chrome.
You can read more about how it all works here in this FAQ. A funny bit is this, "Q: If an offensive or lewd word is a fraction of my query, will Google push these results in front of me as I type?" But the funniest is this, "Q:Does this change impact the ranking of search results?" The final answer to that could be somewhat different if an investigation into search result fixing comes out against Google.
However the most important fact on the FAQ is the first, you can turn Instant off. µ
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