Google Instant, the feature that would load up search results as you typed, was launched back in 2010. It was one of the major projects spearheaded by Marissa Mayer, before she moved to become CEO of Yahoo. At the time, it was seen to be a huge change in the way search was used, and it was quite popular for years.
Due to the fact that more than 50% of all Google searches are being done on mobile devices, however, Google feels that the feature is no longer offering significant benefit. Due to this, they have eliminated it from both mobile and desktop searching.
Google made a comment to Search Engine Land about the change, saying, “We launched Google Instant back in 2010 with the goal to provide users with the information they need as quickly as possible, even as they typed their searches on desktop devices. Since then, many more of our searches happen on mobile, with very different input and interaction and screen constraints. With this in mind, we have decided to remove Google Instant, so we can focus on ways to make search even faster and more fluid on all devices.”
How much this will impact marketers is unknown, but anytime there is a significant change in the way search is done, those working in the digital industry need to be aware.
Now, recommended search results powered by auto-complete will show up in the standard drop-down menu, but the results page won’t render in real time. Users have always had the option to turn off Instant Search, but now it appears it will be gone for good to create a consistent experience across desktop and mobile.