When good and bad (or wait and watch) reviews , blogs, updates poured on millions of web pages regarding Google Instant ; one would like to know “what went behind scenes to get Google instant Happening?”
Major change : Now Google Search page has turned from a static HTML page into an AJAX application!!! I am sure you would appreciate the technological challenge that Google would have faced to make this happen.
First Google Instant Challenge to Make the design relevant and not distracting (though; there is a huge debate still going on the blogsphere regarding the “Distracting” nature of the Instant). But I am quite sure that Google will fine-tune further to take care of the distraction as noticed and mentioned by many of the users.
Before the release Google went through many prototypes ; usability studies (testing with people from the community), dogfooding (testing with Google employees) as well as search experiments (testing with a small percentage of Google users; some of our heavy users of Google seemed to have got early preview of the tool)
Check some of the examples here:
In the end, Google hit upon two features that worked well together: first, a query prediction in the search box in gray text and second, results for the top prediction that update continuously while the user types.
Second Google Instant Challenge: The infrastructure challenge: 5-7X more results pages for typical searches
Google knows that in search every second counts. Google has been (and will) keep working towards not just relevancy of search but how quick and fast it gets delivered. But the challenge which needed to be surmounted by the Google Infrastructure team is to serve 5-7 times more search results without losing the quickness. One simple solution is to invest humongous amount of server power but Google wanted smarter solution.
And this is what Google did:
• Google deployed new caches that can handle high request rates while keeping results fresh as we continuously crawl and re-index the web.
• Google introduced user-state data into our back-ends to keep track of the results pages already shown to a given user—this way we don’t re-fetch the same results repeatedly.
I am sure all of you are getting useed to Google Instant and I am also sure that Google Instant will get better and Better.
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