Tag Archives | Google Instant

Yahoo Goes for Instant Results With Search Direct

I’m not a huge fan of Google Instant, mainly because it seems more gimmicky than anything. Well, Yahoo’s jumping on the instantaneous results bandwagon, debuting a product called Yahoo Search Direct. Like Instant, it will instantly cull its (or should we say Bing’s) database for results. There’s a difference here however, and Yahoo might actually be on to something.

Go to search.yahoo.com and try it out. For example, type in the query “philadelphia weather.” Once Search Direct figures out that is what you are looking for, a brief summary for the forecast appears next to the suggested terms. It works for other types of queries, such as “LeBron James”. Entering his name pops up his current season stats.

Yahoo’s effort here is to match its users with “answers, not links,” kind of like an Ask Jeeves on steroids. There might be a chance depending on what you’re looking for that you would never have to leave Yahoo’s site.

Google is doing something similar at times with Instant, but at least in my use it seems Yahoo’s a little quicker on the draw. Right now about 15 different types of searches will give those instant results — weather, sports, music, and news are just some — but Yahoo says this eventually could span hundreds of categories.

The company will also monetize the feature by allowing for advertisers to embed an ad for select queries. For example, searchers for “Target” could be presented with the current video advertisement in that pane much like the weather forecast or sports statistics appear.

Go ahead and try it. Do you think it’s better than Instant? Let us know in the comments.

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Living With Google Instant in Chrome

Last week, a new version of Google Chrome went into beta, adding a bunch of features including 3D support, sandboxing of Flash and Google Instant from within Chrome’s omnibar.

Instant, which in the browser loads search results and entire web pages as you type them, isn’t enabled by default, probably because it could confuse people who aren’t expecting it. But not me! After nearly a week of living with Google Instant in Chrome here are a few thoughts on how it works.

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Google Instant: Quick, Quick, Quick–But Not Psychic

When Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave a keynote address at the IFA show in Berlin yesterday, he talked about “a new definition of Google.” As I watched the Webcast, I was struck by the phrase–how often does an enterprise as vast and successful as Google want to redefine itself?–and listened closely to what that new definition involved.

“We’re trying very hard to get you something fast,” Schmidt said. “Never underestimate the power of fast. Quick, quick, quick–we want to help you right now.” Later in the speech, he also spoke of Google understanding what users want before they’ve even asked for it, in almost psychic-like fashion: “We can understand things like what you really meant.”

Okay, I got the idea, and assumed that we’d see the emphasis on speed and prediction expressed in Google developments in the months and years to come. But I didn’t realize that Schmidt was teasingly previewing the major announcement that the company would make a day later in San Francisco.

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