Google to Revamp Search Results, Yet Again

Google’s much-teased search event at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art gets underway at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Wednesday, and I’ll be there to blog the highlights. (You can also watch it live on Google’s YouTube channel.) Tonight, after checking out the new logo that progressively recovers its usual colors as you type in letters, it sure looked like it had something to do with real-time updating of search results as you type. Google has been testing those for some time, but not in such a forward fashion if memory serves.

The logo replaced an earlier one that involved bouncing balls that interacted with the cursor, which the company said was intended to show how it aims to make search “fast, fun and interactive.” The Guardian noted that the way that logo was coded suggests the next, more interactive generation of Web programming. Google also promised invited press that it would “share our latest technological innovation and to get an inside look at the evolution of Google search.”

I suspect from the hype that there will be much more. Barry Schwartz of the Search Engine Roundtable blog has a few guesses:

(1) AJAX powered search results. Yes, I believe Google will go forward with the AJAX powered search results tomorrow. Yesterday, I and others began noticing 30 results per page, but when I look deeper, it is driven by the AJAX like results. I can search, the URL doesn’t really change, it just adds on parameters, which makes me believe that it is done for analytics software. Why? This is something Google tested in February 2009 and stopped when complaints about referrer data not being sent using these AJAX results. Is it time for Google to go full force now with the AJAX results? It is “faster” for the user, which is a clue from the line above.

(2) 30 results per page is something I personally see myself and so do others. People are reporting it atWebmasterWorld and Google Web Search Help. It does make the results a bit more in your face, giving you more room to scroll. I am not sure if that makes things all that faster, but I guess it does. Is it more “fun,” I don’t know.

(3) Streaming Results As You Type. We know Google has been testing updating results as you type for the past few weeks. Many more are now seeing it, which is even more of a sign that this is coming soon. We have new reports of it at Google Blogoscoped Forums and WebmasterWorld. It does make the search results more “interactive” and a bit “faster.” More useful, I am not sure.

Google has been continually criticized, most recently (and inaccurately) by competitors, as failing to move beyond the iconic “10 blue links.” I suspect whatever Google announces will finally put an end to that epithet.

4 Responses

  1. […] event, the company introduced Google Instant, which shows search results as you type–a very significant change in its iconic search engine. Given how much competition Google’s facing not only in search […]

  2. […] on September 8, 2010 by robhof Google’s much-anticipated event promising to chart out the future of search is about to start, and the auditorium at SF MOMA is packed with press. You can view the event on […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Hof, AuctionBytes. AuctionBytes said: Google to Revamp Search Results, Yet Again (Rob Hof's blog) […]

  4. I agree that it does not make the results more useful. But it will increase revenues, as it decreases the long tail (longer queries pre-emted by shorter suggestions) and allows Google to charge more per click for paid search ads.

    So more revenue for Google, and somewhat higher costs for some advertisers it my guess for the net-effect.

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