back to article Google tests 'streaming' search engine

Google is testing a new incarnation of its search engine that rejiggers results pages as you type, according to a video captured by a UK-based SEO. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But judging from the video, Google refers to this as "streaming" search. As you key new characters into the search …

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  1. Boyd Crow

    Why make the search page busier than it is now?

    It's distracting enough watching the "suggestions" constantly change. I really don't want to be forced to watch the whole page dance around while I'm typing.

    I know what I am looking for when I start typing. This proposed feature should have an OFF option. Implementation of this proposed feature without an opt-out would result in a bigger outcry than the whole mismanaged "Buzz" introduction.

    1. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Why make the search page busier than it is now?

      KDE has been doing this for a while on its application, email, and desktop search.

    2. Chris 3

      You do know that ...

      ... you can disable search suggestions, don't you? Just go to settings and turn it off.

      1. Jodo Kast

        Account?

        This would require an account with Google. That's a security issue right there...

    3. MinionZero
      Joke

      @"distracting enough watching the "suggestions" constantly change"

      Distracting isn't half the problem! ... it could be down right bloody scary with some searches. For example imagine if you are looking for somewhere in Cockfosters! (in North London). I sure as hell wouldn't like to see the suggestions on that as I type!

    4. JC 2
      Alert

      @ Why make...

      Agreed, though it does have an opt-out (click text on top right of page).

  2. Ole Juul

    Not to my benefit

    This is going to make it really hard to do a serious search. Also, will less capable computers and connections be able to keep up? I wonder how the huge number of dialup users in North America and elsewhere are going to like this.

    1. Alien Doctor 1.1

      Google search

      If you want to do "serious search":

      a) why use Google?

      b) if you must, then try google.co.uk/advanced_search, it's not perfect for all searches, but it beats the basic page without having to type all kinds of modifiers into the search box

  3. Scott 9
    Stop

    God, NO!

    This is probably going to be as big a bomb as that "custom wallpaper" background they had a few months ago, and I can already picture the phone calls/e-mails from people "this Google thing has gone crazy, what's wrong with it?"

    I don't need or want to have Google redoing the search for every letter I type, although I imagine "teh" will become a very popular search term. Did they test this idea at all? Are there really that many people who would use this type of "search?"

    Why not make a topic list on the right, so rather than doing searches it would take common search terms against an index of click-throughs and pull up a sidebar list of "Are you looking for..." and rather than just matching keywords it would actually give a list of links to recipes or magazine articles or whatever. That would be much more useful.

    Google: The New Microsoft.

    1. Chris 3
      FAIL

      "Did they test this idea at all?"

      Did you read the article at all?

      1. Daniel 1

        It appears he didn't even read the title.

        "Google tests 'streaming' search engine"

  4. AndrewV

    Google ads

    Does google get paid per ad click, per ad shown, or a combination of both?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Per click

      That's why it's called pay per click ;)

      That said, the quality score of an ad is partially dependent of the click through rate i.e. clicks versus impressions, so as an Adwords account manager I do wonder if this will make my impression numbers go through the roof, with many of them having no chance of a click!

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    In the minority

    Looks like I'm in the minority. I think it could be useful, *BUT* it would have to be optional...

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Alien

    DRIVR Virtualisation for AIRemote Control of All Future Command Space Theatres*

    Cade, Hi,

    It appears that Google are entering Alien Control Territories, for that upon which you have reported is nothing more than a cloning of Tributary Feed for NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT for ...... well, I suppose it is best described as Future Beta Product Placement for CyberIntelAIgently Designed Presents ...... Dynamically Rich Integrated Virtual Realities, for it is just a copy of Prior Art as is presented on the page here ........ http://tinyurl.com/priorartwork

    * A Bold Claim that No Fools Share for Free.

  7. tim-e
    Thumb Up

    Scroogle

    ...ftw.

    1. DrunkenMessiah
      Black Helicopters

      Isn't Scroogle dead?

      It just redirects to Google...

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Maybe they ARE going into mobile phones again..

    .. given that this sort of stuff nicely wastes bandwidth. The untold story with mobile bandwidth is that the real heavy users typically travel, for which there are NO unlimited plans available anywhere on the globe.

    It's the equivalent of the con trick mobile phone companies play on you with voicemail: the real reason the "hello" message is so extensively helpful is that it makes it more likely you will go beyond the one minute barrier, so any voicemail always gives them two minutes without them having to supply two minutes' worth of resources for it. Multiply that by their call volume and you're talking about millions being earned by appearing unavoidably "helpful"..

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh - How is this useful?

    You could call it an extension of google suggest. I would call it a massive and perhaps pointless bloat of google suggest.

  10. TonyHoyle

    Why?

    So if I search for football it searches for 'foo' first? If I search for scunthorpe it searches for 'scunt' first? Butter searches for Butt?

    Not sure I see the point. Partial word searches make no sense.

  11. Smokey Joe
    FAIL

    True to form...

    Nice one Google. I had a feeling there would be further "improvements" after the fine job you made of your image search.

    1. Lionel Baden

      ditto

      Hate the freaking new images search !!

  12. rebelwithoutapplause

    Mr Metz, WTF?

    <blockquote>

    Rather than just suggesting possible searches as you type, it's suggesting entire results pages.

    </blockquote>

    So instead of showing possible completions from a cache of popular searches, they are showing possible completions from a cache of possible searches with there cached results. I still don't understand why "Christianity is Stupid" doesn't appear on Google completion lists even though it is the top Wikipedia result on a search for "Christianity is." (Maybe google hates public domain music, and invites the record labels to fuck them harder?)

  13. tempemeaty

    All your data are belong to us...faster than ever now.

    Meh. So I guess this means they can now track you faster too. LOL!

    I found a search engine that doesn't track users and it works. So meh Google is meh.

  14. Mullerrad
    Badgers

    Search

    Bah humbug

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."

    Do they really?

    That's a bit like saying that people want BMW to tell them where they should be driving next. No one wants that. Stop making things up Eric you bullshit merchant.

    As for "streaming search" I think there are applications for which it will be good and applications for which it will be bad. The key, I suspect, will be to make switching between that and regular search as easy and seamless as possible.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    add a title

    I just turn off suggestions. Hate them

    1. Britt Johnston
      Badgers

      If that's what he wanted...

      ...then an Amazon-like "other people's next search" would be a more efficient solution.

      So maybe he only looking to bump up revenue as you click your way out of the confusion.

    2. wim

      share ?

      which search engine would that be ?

      I am looking for something that could replace google but did not find anything remotely useful at the moment.

      1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Share

        You could try the well known Scroogle Scraper (http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm) which is just an anonimized Google query.

        Ixquick (http://ixquick.com/) it's another pretty decent option. Their results aren't half bad for most queries.

        No "evil Google" icon and no hope of getting one, but the Big Brother will work...

      2. tempemeaty

        Ok...well less fancy but it always seems to find what I want..

        "ixquick" is one and their other is "startpage", www.startpage.com

        It's the only one I know of that is also fighting the EU Parliament mandating data retention of users. ixquick and startpage just don't track you.

  17. Chris Miller

    Google toolbar* has been doing this forever

    *Yes, I know.

  18. Bob 55
    Joke

    Could lead to embarrassment...

    ...about halfway through a search for "analytic", for example.

  19. Geoff Mackenzie

    Ha, ha, ha

    Poor Google, every time Schmidt talks it sounds creepy:

    "I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions," CEO Eric Schmidt recently told The Wall Street Journal. "They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next."

    Read that in an evil voice and add a cackle.

  20. da_fish27
    Go

    I think there is a point

    The point is not that it searches for foo when you try to search for football. I'm sure they would also have a timeout period so that if you type normally it would not do that.

    I see the benefit in that you can quickly see the results and change your query. There are many times when one has to try different queries to see what results are the best, and this is much faster than typing the first query <enter> checking results <click in search box> type second query <enter> etc.

  21. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    I like it!

    Honestly darling, I was trying to look up 'Porboys' and hit the 'n' by mistake. Before I could do anything about it Google had filled the screen with porn sites.

  22. cyber-threats
    Thumb Down

    Big Security risk!

    Google prefetches the first result automatically in the background, so I don't see this new streaming search engine as a good idea.

    Imagine the amount of carefully positioned links containing Malware your PC would download as a result of you typing different words.

    Definitely a NO NO NO for me......

  23. Oh la la...
    Joke

    oh dear

    So the next time I do a search for 'analytics' I'm going to be getting a call from IT and a registered letter from HR....

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: I like it!

      You probably didn't even do anything as bad as that. You were looking up Porboys, and google autocompleted it to porn and filled the screen with porn sites.

  24. CAlex
    Paris Hilton

    Uhoh...

    Let's hope you have SafeSearch on when you're looking for an Analyst...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Sod off google

    Tell me what I should be doing next?

    Yeh because I really can't think for myself.

    Google are turning into a right arrogant buch of f*ckwits.

    This better be an opt-in feature if it ever gets rolled out, otherwise I'm off to Bing.

    Oh and anyone else think the speed of those results updates was just a little too quick? - test it when you're not sat next to your datacentre please.

    1. STurtle
      Thumb Up

      "Tell me what I should be doing next?" Yes please!

      Of, Reg-readers don't want to be told, but Google-usage has reached the masses, and from all my personal experiences and my understanding of history, the masses want to be told exactly that. It's really sad, but not without merit.

      As long as it remains an offer one can refuse, this might still end well somehow, no?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google results are quick

      Because they have data-centres all over the place. You are redirected to your local DC every time you query. Google also BGP peer with many ISPs, they use advanced file systems and I know they are using low-latency switching gear (Astaro Networks), so what makes you think it will be noticeably worse for anyone connected to a decent ISP with decent infrastructure? My queries are almost instant, though I do meet my own criteria - I run the ISP backbone, I peer with Google in two countries and their DC is no more than 3 miles from my house.

      What do you think they are gonna do? Come and test their algorithms from your house?

  26. James Hughes 1

    In other news

    Goggle forced to announce they are *testing* a new style of search, and a hatload of Regtards go completely off their nuts whinging about it.

    In other other news. Rest of world lets Google get on with testing stuff in case it's any good. Regatrds heads explode.

  27. bugalugs
    Thumb Down

    if this is implemented it will be a real case..

    of too much information !

    and a bandwidth thief to boot..

  28. wgae
    FAIL

    I predict...

    ...that Google will be the uncrowned king of search queries!

    Number-wise, that is. Just imagine: "G" is the first search query, "Go" is the second search query, "Goo" is another search query, "Goog" is search query # 4, "Googl" is #5, "Google" is #6, dunno whether the space counts, "Google i" is #7, "Google id" #8, "Google idi" is #9, "Google idio" is #10, "Google idiot" is #11, and -hoorah!- "Google idiots" is search query #12.

    11 fake queries and just one genuine query. This will BOOST the number of search queries big time.

    As always: Google? Fail.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    I like

    This already happens on many desktop search tools and I've found it useful there. I'd be happy to see them intorduce this, quicker and easier searching.

    Only downside I can see to this is for people on slow connections may have issues with the real time updates. Hopefully they put this into the main search page as an opt-in, that will appease the whining bitches and I get to use the useful update.

  30. fixit_f
    Thumb Up

    Well I'm quite impressed

    It's just a test! Proof of concept. Doesn't mean they'd deploy it, and I'd imagine it'd be optional. Will probably mean in increase in the bandwidth used while searching, and would require more horsepower on the back end as the database is constantly scanning it's indexes based on the new key words as they appear - so there's a "cost" to both the user and to Google. Would make no sense to make it compulsory, and wouldn't be used on low bandwidth pages like the mobile search.

    Worrying as Google are, you've got to hand it to them - they just batter away at producing betas of ideas, and every now and then some of them prove to be incredibly useful. This probably isn't one of them, but still a neat little trick, there's no need to reflexively shout it down like Pavlov's dogs just because it happens to be google doing it.

  31. J P

    Google is not the only search engine...

    I tend to use Yippy (which seems to have rebranded itself from Clusty for no apparent reason other than to muck up its tag line of "The Clustering Search Engine") if I'm actually _searching_, rather than just looking up a page I know exists. http://search.yippy.com/

  32. A handle is required
    Unhappy

    Not to say "I thought of that" but...

    I had tried to implement this exact functionality a few months ago using a Greasemonkey Userscript. Google blocked the requests after each keystroke because they occurred too fast. I guess a Google search every half-second raised a red flag.

  33. CD001

    Oddly enough

    I wrote something similar to this for a CMS module. If you were adding a book to your store you could start typing the "contributor" name (might be the author or illustrator for instance) and it would pull up an auto-complete type suggestion box to the right of the text input box. So you type "Jon" and it pulls up all the "Jones" and "Jonathon" records and so on. Obviously this is of a much more limited scope with a much smaller data-set and even then I ran into some browser quirks and performance issues along the way (it works very well now thanks).

    I'm sure Google's huge team of codemonkeys will be able to sort it - what I'm not convinced about is the NEED for it. I only really type searches into the Google page itself when I'm refining a search I've already instigated through the browser's in-built search bar - and if I'm refining a search its because I didn't narrowly enough define the parameters in the first place. That being the case, why would I want Google to expand the parameters of my search with irrelevancies whilst I'm attempting to refine the search?

    I suppose, in a way though, if Google are storing everyone's search results this will add a lot of white noise to their lists... imagine searching on oooh, "Goldfinch" for instance.

    ...

    Gold => all results relating to gold and "gold-diggers", gold teeth, golden showers(!) and so on.

    ...

    Goldfi => Goldfinger, Goldfish, Goldfinch, plus "Goldfi" as company/personal names and web handles.

    ...

    Goldfin => Goldfinger, Goldfinch and all the company/names and handles.

    ...

    Goldfinch

    So, on a search for an innocuous common garden bird, I'm apparently a golden toothed, money-grabbing perv who likes being pissed on by James Bond bad-guys? Actually ... ;)

  34. Joe 3

    Will nobody think of the bandwith?!

    Won't this increase each search query's data size about ten-fold? What Google need is a tiered Internet where their content has priority... Hmm...

  35. Ku...
    Coffee/keyboard

    Oh, its clever, but...

    I don't think I'd use it. I am dyslexic so the suggestions type things are helpful to me. But for a lot of reasons, and the horrific new Image Search is one of them, I have started using Bing as my primary search engine and I find I get along a lot better with that now.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      yeah, I tried bing...

      .. but for some reason on firefox (with noscript, not sure if that's relevant) searches for anything with "asp .net" in return an empty page.

      Put up with it for a week or so after I mailed them with feedback (just using google for asp .net searches) but in the end I went back to google. it just works.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      bing?

      Only because it gives you that warm comfy feeling that comes with the safer internet of 8 years ago - go on , use Bing maps to get an idea of their data ages - my work place is in the 90s and my house from 2004

  36. Gleb
    Boffin

    Zomg

    Dont you lot think it will wait 2 std from average length between keystrokes before searching for any inappropriate subset of analytics? Well, unless you take a breather to smirk each time yourself that is.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    The test results are in

    After months of study the 30 man team submitted their final report, one word:

    Annoying.

    When asked if that was the all they concluded the team amended their findings to:

    Very annoying.

  38. John Goodwin 4
    FAIL

    My teeth hurt

    If they introduce this alongside that hideous Image Search nonsense, then I will certainly be looking at another search engine somewhere on the 'tinterweb'

  39. gimbal
    Coat

    Sounds dizzying

    I'm with the opt-out crowd. If it's an *optional* feature, then I can wish Godspeed to the Googermeisters, on their ongoing innovations.

    (If was not implemented as an optional feature, then I might find myself too blunted in the eyes, by it, too much to utter even a single response. To hedge for that option: In which case, I say, "Talk about shock marketing...")

    I'm sure it'll be optional, though. Cheers.

    Mine's the one with gopher:// on the lapel

  40. YumDogfood

    Steaming research, pile of .

    Feels to me like Google are struggling to break out the simplicity of the current interface and go all Bing on us.

  41. Paul RND*1000
    Thumb Down

    This is why...

    ...I firmly believe that ALL people involved in web design and development should be forced to work on a LAN connection that's been throttled down to about 5kb/s one day per week, to remind them that not all users are fortunate enough to even have a reasonable faster option available.

    When dial-up has finally gone the way of the dodo (which in the USA will be "never", unless universal access requirements are applied to broadband just as they now are to landlines), then they should be throttled to whatever the slowest commercially available broadband option is. Just to make the experience complete, they should have any bandwidth beyond a certain amount taken out of their paycheck, to simulate how real world broadband users have to live.

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