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New Google Test - Updating the SERP Live While You Type



4:48 pm on Aug 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Here's report of a pretty adventurous test, spotted by Rob Ousbey who was sharp enough to grab a video screen capture:

Live updating Google results [youtube.com]

Typing into the search box while on a results page, the actual SERP keeps getting updated, giving you a preview of the #1 Search Sugggestion. I haven't been able to see this on any browser. But I imagine getting served the text depends on a very fast connection, so that all the AJAX can work. Anyone else see it?


12:47 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Bye bye long tail.

Anyone see that episode of The Simpson's where Homer built a car for the everyman? He put every conceivable option on it until he bankrupted the car company. Google's turning into the Homer Simpson car company. They should be building Volvo's instead, changing only rarely and only with proven technology.


12:59 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

hello short tail.
if this rolls out the race will be on to see who can rank for the shortest partial version of your keywords.
here's my anchor text list:
"K" 500 links please
"Ke" 400 links please
"Key" 500 links please
"Key W" 1000 links please
... fun


1:37 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

*goes off and optimises web pages for "wi", "wid", "widg" and "widge"*

M, Me, Me t, Me to, Me too, Me too!

It's a reminder that it's not only important to optimize for keywords but to have them in the right order.

ie:"Widget blue" gives completely different results than "blue widget" and if someone typed in Widget while wanting a blue one they may very well add the word blue to their original search without reversing the order...


2:00 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

While a typical tech/geek might find those types of results fun, the average user will not only be turned off by them, but confused as well.

It seems as if Google is doing it's best to drive people away from their search engine.

Maybe they figure they have enough money and don't need searchers any more.


2:37 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Maybe they'll launch it as one of the search options - so only heavy duty researchers would use it.


3:09 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maybe they'll launch it as one of the search options - so only heavy duty researchers would use it.

I was thinking the same. I don't see this thing going prime time. Maybe as an extra search tool tacked away under "more search options" or something like that but that's about it really.

IMO, yet another fun project to keep the gang at the plex busy with somthing.


3:16 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

And who knows what uses there will be for various bits of the code. I love playing around, too - and sometimes the most amazing uses turn up for my playtime projects.


3:25 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

How is Google going to count their number of queries with this change? If they are counting w, wi, wid, widg, widge, and widget as separate searches, they might be able to say that they have 95% of the search market!


5:19 am on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Occasionally i ask myself the question : " is Google a fully matured product ? This experiment kinda answers it and makes me wonder how the SEO industry will morph to meet the onward challenges.

Apart from being of potential user benefit, it really broadens Google's monetization ability through greater keyword reach deeper into the long tail . Trophy terms are becoming less important these days i think as Google either takes over with localisation strategies and the strengthening of suggested terms .

Who knows where this experiment will end up , but it does demonstrate the capacity that Google has to overtake webmasters at the speed of light if they find something that works that they think users like and makes money for them.

To prepare a response it looks like better relevance within content and navigation to match Google's appetite is the key. Easier said than done for most of us though.


1:08 pm on Aug 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are suggested searches affected by search history? If so, this test makes the whole concept of search even more limited. As Sgt_Kickaxe said,
People are Lazy, they will rarely finish typing in a full keyword sentence and so all of those "first shot" results are much more valuable.


8:03 am on Aug 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If google is recording each SERP result with every letter change then this will really distort impressions on Adsense

Yeah, it could ruin everything. Unless they only plan on recoreding the final result...


11:19 pm on Sep 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I am seeing "Updating SERPs live" behaviour on google.co.uk and a different suggest box behaviour on Google.com.

I observed the following:

1) From google.co.uk home page, as soon as you start to type and the first suggestion is shown, the google search box moves to the upper left of the page (so that it has space to show SERPs underneath)

2) when you start to type, google shows characters typed, but the rest of the search box gets "auto completed" with the suggestion #1 from the suggestion drop down, with missing letters shown in light gray. It is for this 'auto completed' phrase that the "dynamic serps" is shown below the search box. For example, if I type (entered characters shown in bold, google 'auto complete' shown in gray):

webmaster tools

Then the SERPs underneath will be for Webmaster tools. The SERPs below will not change until the next character causes Google to change the top suggestion, which reflects in search box, again, with user entered characters shown in black and google 'auto complete' to match the first suggestion shown in gray.

So if I was in fact searching for webmasterworld, then the SERPs will keep showing results for Webmaster Tools until I reach "webmasterw" whilst typing, at which point the top suggestion in the drop down changes to "webmasterworld" and the search box 'auto completes' with light gray characters to:


at which point the SERPs shows results for Webmasterworld

3) Deleting the characters you typed in the google search box by either backspacing them or by clicking little x at the far right within the Google search box clears the SERPs below (expected), but as the search box is on the top left, it now shows completely blank page underneath which looks odd as we are not used to such interface from Google. The left column that had "Everything, Videos, Images, More..." also disappears if there is nothing in the search box

4) There is "Turn off streaming" to the right of the Google search box. Clicking on this goes back to Google.co.uk home page and now when searching, you get the usual interface with Google suggest, with "Turn on streaming" link available.

Different set of changes to Google Suggest was observed just now on Google.com - not sure if this has been reported already. At the point of entering "analyti" in Google search box, the drop down suggest shows "Google Analytics | Official website" in blue (which is the title of the Google Analytics login page) with green URL shown below. So in this case the Google suggest does not start with the same characters as the phrase you type in. Selecting/clicking the this suggestion takes you straight to Google Analytics login page.

Similar happens if you start to type "webmas" in the Google search box - the top suggestion is "Webmaster Tools" with green URL below and selecting this goes directly to Google Webmaster Tools login page.

So far I have noticed this happening only for some of Google properties, i.e. I have not seen it happen for searches where Google does not have their own property.

Also, typing 'Google Webmaster Tools' or 'Google Analytics' in the search box does not produce the same result at any point of typing these words - the normal Google Suggest is applied.

So to me it seems Google is finding the way of very strongly suggesting to take you directly to its property bypassing SERPs in cases you may NOT explicitly searching for its properties.
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