Google announced an incredible, revolutionary thing in 2010. No, not Android 2.2 Froyo. I’m talking about Instant Search, a feature that would load suggestions and search results dynamically as you typed. It was hailed as a major advance in 2010, but today Google announced Instant Search is dead, and it was mobile that killed it.
Mobile searches overtook desktop in 2015, and the gap has continued to widen. So, Google was stuck maintaining two different versions of search because the features of Instant Search don’t translate to a small screen. Here’s the statement Google gave to Search Engine Land.
“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.”
So, now when typing a search query on mobile, you’ll just get suggestions under the text. No pages will load in the background, which is actually fine by me. If you were unsure how you were going to formulate a query or were just a slow typist, Instant Search could be helpful. Otherwise, your screen would just flash up a bunch of unneeded search results. With the end of Instant Search, Google says it can direct more energy to making searches better on both mobile and desktop.