* SEPTEMBER 8, 2010, 5:13 P.M. ET
Google Feature to Speed Web Searches
By AMIR EFRATI
SAN FRANCISCO-Google Inc. on Wednesday introduced a change to its widely used Web search engine that speeds up the time it takes to find and deliver results.
The new feature, called "Google Instant," shows search results that change as each letter in a word is typed into the search box. At present, a search begins when the word is typed and the "enter" key struck. The feature is being rolled out in the U.S. and six European countries this week and will be introduced more broadly later, the company said.
Google Inc. on Wednesday introduced a change to its widely used Web search engine that speeds up the time it takes to find and deliver results. WSJ's Julia Angwin discusses with Simon Constable on Digits.
At a demonstration at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Mountain View, Calif., company showed how the search engine now tries to predict what customers are searching for and instantly displays results before they finish typing. One engineer who wanted weather information typed in the letter "W" into the search box and immediately got the local weather forecast above other search results.
Marissa Mayer, vice president of search product and user experience, said Google Instant could shave two to five seconds from the 25 seconds it currently takes, on average, to search and choose a link.
Ms. Mayer said Google made more than 500 changes to the way it ranks websites in search results and to the user experience, including rolling out automatic spelling corrections for customers who try to enter misspelled words.
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