Google announced that they have killed the dynamic version of their desktop search results known as “Instant Search.”
Rolled out in 2010, Instant Search was a feature that would dynamically change the search results in Google as you typed, without the user needing to press “Enter”. For example, if you typed “taco” into the search bar (and didn’t hit “Enter”), search results might automatically show taco recipes, but as you continued to type, and you added “restaurants” to your search, the results would dynamically change to show restaurant listings in your area, as Google automatically adjusted the search results to better match your query.
Image courtesy of PMG
Note: Some are confusing Instant Search with Google’s Auto Suggest feature, but they are not the same thing. Auto Suggest, which shows suggested keywords as you type, will still be available. The removal of Instant Search just means that the search results won’t render in real-time, you will need to press “Enter” or click “Search” to generate the search results.
Why Did Google Kill Instant Search?
Google killed the Instant Search feature because the majority of Google searches now happen on mobile devices, and Instant Search is not useful on small screens. Google gave the following statement to Search Engine Land to explain the change:
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.