Late last week Google provided a big list of updates, changes and new features in Search implemented in January. Among them is an interesting tweak to Instant Search, which has been around for more than a year now.
The feature works by loading search results as soon as users start typing, to cut down on response time.
This instant feedback is also great when trying to tweak the search term, to find the one that yields the best results.
However, as you can imagine, the feature does take a bit of a toll on both bandwidth and computing power.
Until now, Google has been checking to see whether the internet connection was fast enough to support the feature and push several results pages in seconds as well as update them almost instantaneously.
Any lag between the user typing the query and the instant results loading turns the feature from a convenience into a nuisance.
If the network connection were not up to spec, Instant Search would be automatically disabled. But network speed is not the only thing that can interfere with the feature, processing power does as well.
So Google also decided to make this a factor and check to see whether the computer or device was able to run Instant Search smoothly before serving it. If the computer is too slow, the feature is disabled.
"Google Instant has long had the ability to automatically turn itself off if you’re on a slow internet connection. Now Instant can also turn itself off if your computer is slow," Google explained.
"If Instant gets automatically disabled, we continue to check your computer speed and will re-enable Instant if your performance improves. We’ve also tweaked search preferences so you can always have Instant on or off, or have it change automatically," it added.