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Can't Turn Instant Off

 8:46 am on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else seeing a new search settings page, but the option to turn off Instant doesnt work unless you increase beyond 10 results per page?

What's even weirder is I get a different set of results for 20 per page to 10 per page (ie the top ten results are different). If I switch back and forth, the top 10 for 10 results per page are consistent, and also with 20 results per page, but not with each other!



Robert Charlton

 9:01 am on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

It sounds like you've already checked the settings, so this may not apply...

Is there still a gear-shaped "options" icon in the upper right corner of the page? I don't have the new homepage yet, but in the Classic view I have, Instant is the first setting on the page.

It used to be buried somewhere near the bottom, and at first I skipped over it when I looked at the page. I guess, by unpopular demand, it's risen higher.


 9:33 am on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the help Robert, but it's definitely switched off. Instant just annoys me, so this isn't a great rock and hard place to be stuck between.

Hopefully it'll resolve itself quickly!


 9:38 am on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just to clarify, it's switched off in settings, but still on when I search.

Just relised that wasn't obvious from my post! :D


 12:18 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can turn it off in my settings (don't forget to hit "save") and it is off even with 10 results per page. I just wish that there were a url param for turning it off and than num= param still worked. My preferences never stick because I clear my cookies every day.


 6:37 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

What's even weirder is I get a different set of results for 20 per page to 10 per page (ie the top ten results are different).

This has long been the case - because of the way URLs from the same domain can be clustered. If you ask for more than ten results, there can be more URLs from the same domain to be clustered, and they usually cluster around the highest ranking result. This means a result that was at #14 can pop up to #3, for instance, it the same domain has a result at #2.


 7:07 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster - is that even the case when all ten results are from different domains on both result sets?


 7:33 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think so - you may be noticing something different than what I described, If all 10 (and 20) results are from different domains, then it isn't clustering (Google calls it "host crowding") as I originally thought.

It would be interesting to notice if the 10-page and 20-page SERP are coming from different Google IP addresses.


 8:22 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can't say for sure about the top 20, but the top ten were different. I did wonder if the changing settings were causing me to hit a different data center (if thats the right term!).

At the moment it has stopped changing, but I'll take a look if it starts again - how do i tell which ip address I'm hitting?


 8:53 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The best way I know is to use the Firefox extension ShowIP. Anything you do after the fact of getting your SERP may be shuffled off to a different IP address than the one originally, because Google's load balancing handles every request uniquely.


 9:25 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster - I'll report back if I see it again :)


 3:28 am on Dec 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I use [google.com...] if that's any help. It shuts down instant. I checked google.com and did see a new opening page with a colored menu on the left. Google is always experimenting and I have no doubt that a certain percentage of people are still seeing two search boxes on a page. Iíve even seen people even report on new features and they not emerge for me for a year.

Yes I do see what you're talking about now. The results for the method I showed you and the new setup should match but don't. Its like they slid and update in if you aren't using their setup. Could make for some interesting if not differing traffic patterns and commerce.

I also see in the December updates thread they are beginning to smell it with the traffic shifts.

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