Thursday, June 16, 2011

Google ramps up speed of search

Google has made changes to its search engine as it strives to get consumers the information they want faster.
Its new Instant Pages system will shave between two to five seconds off the time it takes for a web page to load, the company said.

It is also planning to offer voice-activated and enhanced image searching.

Google, which processes one billion requests every day, said search remained its core focus.

The firm still dominates the market although Microsoft's Bing is slowly eating into its share.

Bing's US searches rose to 14 percent in May from 12 percent at the end of 2010. It also powers searching on Yahoo, which has 15.9 percent of the market while Google's share slipped to 66 percent from 67 percent, according to measurement firm comScore

Instant Pages works by pre-loading the page associated with the top search result in the background as a user decides what to click on.

Google relies on its relevance technology to confidently predict the number one result a user will pick.

That means when the top pre-rendered link is chosen, the web page opens instantaneously.

The search giant said it typically takes around five seconds for a web page to launch once someone clicks on it.

"We at Google will not be happy until we make the Web as easy to flip through as a magazine," Google fellow Amit Singhal said at the Inside Search event in San Francisco.

"We are obsessed with speed. We often say speed is still the killer app," he added.

During a demo at the event the Washington Post home page loaded immediately with Instant Pages, compared to 3.2 seconds without it.

Last year the Silicon Valley firm introduced Google Instant which gives users results to queries while queries are being typed into the search box.

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