Google is holding an event to talk about improvements in search technology today, and the company has outlined a number of pretty cool new features for mobile, web, and Google Chrome browser-based searches.
One of the most impressive new features is something called Instant Pages, which will allow users to load web pages much more quickly after entering a search query using the Google Chrome web browser.
Google says the average web site takes about 5 seconds to load, but even that is too slow in many instances. Now Google will predict which link you’re most likely to select from a page of search results and then pre-render content from that web site so that in some cases it will load “instantly” as soon as you click. In a demo, Google showed that sometimes the page still doesn’t load instantly, but page load times can be greatly reduced by pre-rendering.
The Instant Pages feature is available in the dev channel for Google Chrome starting today. It will be in the beta version of the browser this week, and eventually it will be available for all Chrome web browser users as well as for the Android web browser.
Google is making the Instant Pages source code available. In response to a question, Google representatives said they would expect developers to make plug-ins for Firefox and other web browsers using the code. Future versions of Google Toolbar may also add this and other new features.
Google is also adding Voice Search to desktop web searches. You’ve been able to speak your search terms into a mobile phone for the past few years, but now if you have a microphone in your desktop or laptop web browser you can just speak your query. The voice recognition may not be perfect, but Google continues to collect data from user searches to improve its speech technology.
Search by Image
Google will also allow users to upload an image to conduct a search. This means you can search using text, voice, or an image. But while search engine TinEye allows users to upload an image and simply look for similar images on other web sites, Google will let you actually conduct a general search query using an image.
As an example, Google showed what happens when you upload the picture of a company logo (related images appear as well as links to the company that uses that logo), or a picture of a landscape (Google made a guess about where the photo was taken).
Instant Image Search
Google is starting to roll out instant search results for Google Image Search. Instant results have been available for text-based searches for a while, with the results page changing as you type. Now you’ll actually be able to see entirely new pages of images as you type your image search query.