Google is reportedly testing a “live search” feature where search results are updated in real time as you type.
The test was first reported by search-engine optimization consultant Rob Ousbey, who recorded the results.
The “live” or “streaming” search works off of Google’s search suggestions feature. As you type each letter of your search term, Google gives you suggestions for what it thinks you’re trying to search for (for example, if I type “s,” I get “skype” as the first suggestion). The suggestions modify as you continue to type (for example, if I type “sa” I get “safeway,” and if I type “sak,” I get “saks fifth avenue,” and so on).
The “live” search takes it one step further — instead of just updating the suggestions, it updates the actual search results as you go along. Yes, that means that the entire page of results will change with each letter you type.
Google confirmed to TechCrunch that Ousbey’s video is real, though it did not say whether the feature will go live anytime soon. Instead, Google simply gave a generic answer: “At any given time we are running between 50 – 200 search experiments.”
I’m not entirely sure that this neat little trick is worth it, though. Not only will it probably put a lot of stress on Google’s servers (probably why so few people have seen it in action, so far), but I can see it just being annoying while I’m trying to search for something. I’m not a big fan of flickering webpages.