Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back to Google

Google has announced their newest technological innovation. It’s an instant search feature and they are calling it Google Instant. Pretty clever name, eh?

I’ve never been all that interested in the look-ahead technologies out there. I turn the spelling correction off on my Android mobile because I don’t care for the look-ahead feature.

Google Instant does represent a good decision here.  They make the default search what you have actually typed and not what they are suggesting, which is exactly what I hated about the spelling correction on the phone (as it would insert things I didn’t want to say at all—I’ll leave that up to your imagination).  Bravo.  Now go fix that in Android.

This is some pretty cool stuff. Firefox, Opera, and Safari (and others) have been offering search term look-ahead (guessing at your desired search terms) for a long time now. As to the dynamic (javascript reliant) searching, well, Facebook and other sites have been doing that for a while. Granted Google has put together an excellent implementation of these technologies; but let’s not pretend they pulled a rabbit out of a hat here.

I’m not feeling all that compelled by being able to get one click quicker to my search results. I touch type so I can type a search term and hit enter often before I can scan and read their results. (Make your children take some typing. It’s useful.)

The one aspect that is more innovative is that the results are location aware. I know, maybe not more than the iPhone’s location awareness gimickery, but hey who’s counting?  It means typing one less search term if you are seeking something close to home (or whatever your current location happens to be).  Even I can’t type that fast.

I will say it is nice to see that we can’t search for the seven words you can never say on television (which you can certainly say on television now, given the right conditions—let’s write a television show about someone with Tourette’s).

I mean, I don’t want forking asp holes digging my sheet, beach.

You can search for erection and you can search for nipples, but you can’t search for erection nipples. “You can prick your finger, but don’t finger your prick.” Thanks, George; thanks, Puritans; and thanks, China.

Google seems to imply that we are able to turn off this filtering feature, but I have tested it with safe search turned off and this changes nothing.  My tests are confirmed in this article.  (Here is another article.)

All in all, I like it well enough. Not sure why they bothered with all the hubbub. They could have slipped this out pretty quiet like. I’m much more interested in the possibilities of Google Wave and that is languishing and obscure yet (and still doesn’t work properly in Opera).

Oh, and Instant doesn’t work in Opera. Here work means “Google does a browser check and if it detects Opera it doesn’t serve up the required Instant code”. Other than that it seems to work just fine.

So if you want to use Instant in Opera you’ll have to at least identify Opera as Firefox ( right-click on the page —> Network tab —> Browser identification —> Identify as Firefox drop-down ).

Good luck with that. And remember you save two to five seconds per search, but Google saves bazillions of processor cycles.

Ode to a Bull Market

O sweet smell of success
the unmimicable aroma
sought by perfumeries in Paris
so strong the nose of noses
dies a little death
and the effluence of the shitting bull
dissipates in fog


3 thoughts on “Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back to Google

  1. I have found a couple of annoyances in the new feature-set.

    First of all, they have changed the way words are parsed in search terms. Words used to be space delimited. Now words are parsed by some predefined dictionary regardless of spacing (jamesisin and james is in used to deliver different results). Lame. Now you have to use quotations to force a word to be a word and not parsed according to the Google dictionary (“jamesisin”).

    Second annoyance relates to the way the Enter key is actioned through the new page. Instant works within a page-load and the old search would create a new page-load for each Enter action. If you enter a search term like faki you will get a set of results. Then you augment your search term by adding soup (now your search is for faki soup). You will get a new set of results. If you click on one of those results and then navigate Back, you will be brought to the original results page and not the augmented results page. (This latter is intermittent.)

    Not the end of the world but annoying as fuck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *