Google became a giant on the back of their search technology, but quite honestly we had not see any major tweak in the search technology since then, until today. After releasing a ton of Google products from email (Gmail), to video streaming (Google Video and then the YouTube purchase), to Instant Collaboration (the failed Google Wave), to the recently announced Google TV, Google has finally updated the not-as-sexy search engine that brought them to the tech ballroom in the first place.
The new feature called Google Instant Search which has an algorithm that is even more predicative than the previous implementation. As you type more letters in you can not only see the drop down menu results change but actually see the whole page of results instantly appear and dynamically change based upon the input you place inside the window. This method should allow people who aren’t sure exactly which keywords would benefit the information they want to find most a way to sort of browse through the entries instantly while trying different approaches without having to keep clicking on the search button.
Google claims that this implementation which is even more predicative of your search needs will save its user up to 350 million hours of search time, but I couldn’t help wondering if this is really a step up from the their main competitors at Bing and Yahoo, so I visited them and tested them out.
This is a clear step up from Bing, which has been gradually eating up market share over the past couple of years after being introduce to the public just a little over a year ago during May of 2009. Bing still waits for the user to click the Search button before bringing up potential results, as does Yahoo, whose stock and search marketshare has largely remained static or even declined for years now, with it roughly at a little over 14% now. I’m confident that Bing will probably roll out their own version of this search feature fairly quickly, but the big question becomes whether Yahoo will continue to be happy with 2nd place, as they stated way back in 1996, or will they also come up with their own version of instant search?
Google’s instant search has been rolled out to users who are currently logged with their Google user I.D., so if you have one, check it out.
I’m kind of surprised that with over 70% of the search marketshare that Google decided to innovate their search at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they did, but often history has shown that market leaders tends to be the last companies to continue to innovate, in any maturing technological sector. More and more it is looking like no one company will be challenging Google Search for sometime to come.
What do you think? Where will the next Google Search competitor come from? Does it exist already? Will it be Bing in the years to come, or have we failed to see the small company that will fell the giant?