Need for speed: Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search ranking, announces Instant Search at an event in San Francisco.
Google is ready to make waiting for Web pages to load a thing of the past—at least for those pages found using its search engine and the company’s Chrome browser. As a user peruses the list of results returned in response to a query, the browser will fetch and load in the background the page it considers most relevant. If a person does click that result, the page will load instantaneously.
The new feature, called Instant Pages, will appear in Chrome and Google’s mobile browsers in “coming weeks” but can be experienced today in the developer version of the browser, or later this week in the beta version (the Chrome browser is automatically updated). A video showing the new feature in action has been posted on YouTube.
“We all have broadband, but loading a Web page is still nothing like flipping channels on your TV,” said Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search ranking, when he announced the new feature today at an event in San Francisco. “We will not be happy until loading a page is as fast as flipping pages in a magazine.”
A year ago, Google introduced Instant Search, which loads results live as a person types into the search box. Google studies show that by reducing the time it takes to enter a query, the feature shaves two to five seconds from most searches, said Singhal. He added that Instant Pages could shorten the process of searching for and loading a Web page by a further five seconds.