Google makes bid to speed up web searches

GOOGLE’S search engine now displays results before users finish typing.

The new technology, dubbed Google Instant, can shave two seconds to five seconds off every Internet search, Google said yesterday, and could entice users to search more on its website.

And with competition increasing from Internet rivals such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook, the technology gives Google new ammunition to tout its advantages to web surfers and online advertisers.

“To our knowledge no one has provided search-as-you-type to their users,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search and user experience.

During a presentation unveiling Google Instant yesterday, Mayer compared the new technology to an automobile's power steering.

The new technology, which was made available in the US yesterday, means Google’s search engine can serve up a local weather forecast as soon as a user types the letter “W” in the search box, for instance.

If the user continues typing a word other than “weather” into the search box, the results on the page instantly refresh and change accordingly.