Google and its ilk have spoiled us. We now expect every search engine everywhere to be as useful as Google. Things like suggestions, autocomplete and as-you-type results have become the norm despite being only a few years old in some cases.
It's quite annoying to find a search page that doesn't start loading results as you type. But it's even more annoying when you don't even get suggestions, so you have to type out the entire query, press Enter, wait for the results to load and hope you're searching for the right thing. That's very 2008, thankfully, Google is here to help.
It's introducing a new product for AdWords advertisers, a Search As You Type search module for sites. Any site that uses AdWords will be able to get into the pilot program and get the feature, as a stand-alone module, for free. The program is only available in the US.
"We’re excited to announce we’re offering one of the most popular features of Google Commerce Search, Search As You Type, as a free, stand alone feature," Google announced.
"It’s easy to implement and helps increase sales and conversion rates on merchant websites. The Search As You Type pilot is available to US-based AdWords advertisers for free, up to 25 million searches annually, after which licensing fees would apply," it said.
The feature is based on Google technology, obviously, and it's quite interesting in practice. Would-be customers will see results, complete with thumbnail images, for their query as soon as they start typing, for example product pages.
It makes it a lot easier to find the thing you are looking for rather than having to load several results pages to narrow down your search.
"The Search As You Type pilot is one of the many steps we’re taking to provide technology, tools and traffic to help power the retail ecosystem. And we’ll continue to develop and invest in tools, such as Google Trusted Stores and Google Commerce Search, to help retailers connect with shoppers and drive conversions," Google boasted.