Apr 21, 2011
Google has been working feverishly on streamlining the way they show their search results by having results show up as you type. Autocomplete is a feature within the Google algorithm that provides predicted searches as a searcher is typing. With the team of Google Instant and Autocomplete working together in Google they provide faster results and better predicted results.
The way the autocomplete feature works is by using data from the most popular searches that have been performed on Google. For example if you start to type in new y Google will start to provide results that are tailored to New York, New York City, New York Times etc. Now the autocomplete team is releasing an updated feature where it will help you search for things when no one else in the world has. This is a big feat.
To do this the autocomplete feature will look at only part of your query and match the most popular searches that have been performed for part of your query. Google showed us an example of how this will work. Lets say you want to search for Florida State Senate Building and you start typing in Florida State Senate Bui then the autocomplete algorithm will use the query State Senate Bui as the query to go off of and will know you are searching for the Florida State Senate Building before you type in the full word of Building.
This updated feature to the Autocomplete feature will be especially helpful for longer queries and for words that are harder to spell. Now as you start typing some of the letters that you know go in the word then Google will help you out by showing you predicted results knowing what you are thinking. It is a very difficult thing to teach a computer to know what a person is thinking especially when the person does not even know how to spell correctly.
As of right now this feature is only rolling out to English speaking in the United States and as it starts to gain more traction and do better in testing then Google will start to roll the updated feature to Autocomplete to other languages and countries. As time marches forward you can expect to see Google making more changes to the algorithm and results pages making them quicker, faster, better predictive and of course more relevant.