Remember the cool feature in Google Search where the first page of results instantly and dynamically appeared as you typed in your query? Well, that feature’s no more according to a post by Search Engine Land
The site is reporting that it has received an official statement from Google about Instant Search being retired from today. The reasoning given behind it has to do with maintaining a consistency of behavior. Apparently Instant Search is kind of futile on mobile devices since much less of the screen is visible when one types in a search query. Instant Search was therefore, conceived as a desktop only feature and all was well, until mobile search caught up and constituted almost half of all Google searches. Since Google didn’t see the point in bringing Instant Search to mobile, it retired it off in Desktop sites as well (although admittedly, an Instant Search working as you type the search queries in the URL bar of Android Chrome which acts as a proxy to Google Search would’ve been neat).
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.
– Google spokesperson
Instant Search was launched as far back as in 2010 by ex-Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer who then worke for Google and was quite ahead for its time. Regardless, with the amount of users Google has accumulated, retiring a feature like this is hardly going to make a difference.