When Google launched Google Instant Search back in 2010, the company called it a fundamental shift in search that would save searchers time when running searches on Google.
Instant Search displayed search results page to the user during the process of typing the actual search phrase the user was interested in.
In best case, it would display the desired results earlier. In worst case, it would throw a number of unrelated search results page at you while you tried to focus on typing your search query.
While the feature may have helped slow typing users, it did not really help fast typing users that much.
That's one reason why I disabled Instant Search as soon as it came out. Google tried to make things more comfortable with the introduction of keyboard shortcuts, but that did not change the fact that this was terribly annoying if you typed long queries quickly.
The feature could also jack up bandwidth as more results pages may have had to be loaded during your typing of the search phrase you were interested in.
Starting today, Google Instant Search is no more. The company has put the feature to rest, all thanks to the rise of mobile and the fact that Instant Search does not really work that well on mobile devices for a number of reasons.
A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that many searches happen on mobile, and that mobile devices have "very different input and interaction and screen constraints", and that that's the reason why Google decided to retire it.
If you run a search right now on Google on the desktop you get search suggestions, but you will notice that the search results don't appear anymore as you type. This means that you will stay longer on the main Google homepage, or on a search results page that you opened previously in your browser of choice.
If you have disabled the feature, or moved on to using a different search engine -- Startpage is my search engine of choice for instance -- you may not have noticed the change at all.
Tip: check out 10 Startpage tips to make the most out of the search engine.
Google continues its shift towards mobile, and unifying the experience for mobile and the desktop users.
Now You: Does the removal of Instant Search affect you?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.