Google Instant: Predictive queries
Google today announced a pretty cool capability that looks like instant results - as you type letters in the search box, the results show up immediately. I've liked this capability in Outlook for a while: in fact, sometimes I have found myself typing a query in Google Mail and waiting for results that never show up until I press Enter.
Actually, the new capability is based on predicting what the query will be, and displaying the results (and ads) for the words Google thinks you'll want. Try this query shown during today's announcement on YouTube:
Type the letters N and Y: Given those two letters, Google predicts that you will type 'Times' next, so it displays the results for the New York Times. However, if you were to hit Enter rather than Tab (to complete ther predictive query), you get a different set of results.
One thing that may impact SEO guys: as you type, the pay-to-click ads you see change along with the results.
Predictive entry is probably much easier to build than returning results based on a single initial letter. Still the guys at Google have done another pretty cool capability. Ajax again shows how useful it can be!
What was kind of funny was a quote they used more than a few times in the announcement: 'Never underestimate fast'. Well said...