It is 2017 and Google has realized you don’t need instant search results anymore. Introduced in 2010, Google quietly killed its Instant Search feature from its search engine, which displayed real-time search results even before you hit enter for any query.
When launched, the Instant Search feature was considered a fundamental shift in the way people looked up information on Google. However, as time progressed, people moved from desktop web to mobile web, and in order to make the experience more fluid on devices, Google decided to remove the feature.
A Google spokesperson told 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.”
The removal of the Instant Search feature does not mean the deletion of search suggestions. Google will continue showing you suggestions as you start typing your query in the search box. The only difference will be that you will have to click on those suggestions for results. With Instant Search, as you typed your query in the search box, Google would show you search results automatically and as you modify the text, the results beneath would change too, all without you having to hit enter.
Earlier this year, Google introduced a similar concept for its apps. Called Instant Apps, users can access these apps without needing to download them on a device. Aimed at making app experience seamless, the technology could be understood as a system where clicking on a link with an associated app will launch the bite-sized version of the app without the need for installing the full app. So for example, if you search for something and the result is an app, Google will stream the app and offer the same experience as you would have with a full app.