Google Result Streaming

Google ResultsToday an interesting new feature of web search giant Google has emerged – live results updating. Rob Ousbey, a SEO consultant, broke the story when he noticed the phenomenon and posted it to his blog.

Since then, a number of other news organizations have picked up the story. Most notably, TechCrunch not only ran the story but was also able to confirm with Google that the video is real. The new feature, to avoid confusion, is that Google is actually updating the results of a page, not just search suggestions. That means that as a user types in their query at the top of the results page, the page below them is continually changing and updating. This could potentially save users lots of time typing and finding results, as they may not even have to finish a search query before finding what they are looking for.

Interestingly, though, is that while this seems like a great new feature, the user response doesn’t seem to be great. Scanning the comments on Ousbey’s blog reveals a myriad of complaints from users who feel that the new feature is too flashy and will be annoying. Several commenters suggest that it will simply be too distracting and hinder them form typing in their complete query. Thankfully for those users, Google hasn’t actually launched the new feature yet. It is currently just a test, which is being rolled out to a small portion of users. Google has said that at any one time, they are running anywhere from 50 to 200 tests, which are only seen by a very small percent of their users. Google is known for making tiny tweaks to their pages, which can make huge performance differences to users.

Small changes for instance, in how ads are displayed can make huge differences in Google’s revenue, and so they are constantly trying to improve their web search service. Chances are that you won’t see this, and if you do, then you are probably a rare part of one of Google’s current tests, and this feature may not stick. This could be seen launched to all users at some time in the future though.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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