For such a short week, Google is really on a roll. Yesterday, on Google’s main search property, a strange yet fun and kinetic new Google logo appeared prompting users to wonder exactly what the search giant was up to.
In the recent past, the Google “Doodles” as the company refers to its fun and different company logos, were typically used to celebrate a birthday or an important milestone in history and would always link to search results relevant to the event or at minimum, an official blog post would explain what the company was up to.
However, this time around, only a mysterious tweet from Google’s official Twitter account offered any clue whatsoever.
“Boisterous doodle today. Maybe it’s excited about the week ahead…”
Indeed, and one can only imagine the countless hours of lost productivity as Google Search users reported being captivated by the interactive animated logo that bounced kinetically-charged balls across the screen as the user moused-over the Google logo. A Google rep went on record yesterday with Search Engine Roundtable to explain things a bit further.
“Today’s doodle is not related to a birthday but is fast, fun and interactive, just the way we think search should be.”
Hit the jump for all of the details from Google’s press event this morning.
Which led the site to speculate about some of the search experience enhancements that Google may announce at their big search event this week. Being held this morning at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, Google has already made some interesting announcements. For starters, Google exec Marissa Mayer released some interesting figures, including the fact that Google Search now serves 1 billion users per week. Top that, McDonald’s! Mayer described how in 2009, Google released about 500 UI and ranking enhancements. With 2010 not nearly finished, Google has already surpassed that figure with such notable updates as Caffeine (code that boasts 50 percent faster results), real-time (including results from Twitter and other social networking sites), enhanced spelling corrections, stars in search, and the redesigned left panel that makes it easier to filter the results.
Today’s big update revolves around perhaps their biggest UI update to date: Google Instant. Rolling out to U.S. users today, and international users over the next week, Google instant will offer interactive search results as you type your query. Type the letter ‘W’ into the search query field and Google will instantly respond with your local weather. As you begin typing more, Google begins showing predictive search results instantly, displaying and adjusting the results as you type more and more. Other useful tips include being able to hit TAB to complete your current word, as well as using the up and down arrow keys to transition the results between various predictive phrases in real-time.
Having experimented a bit with the enhanced Google Instant technology, I have to say it’s pretty amazing and intuitive. Leave it to Google to revolutionize something I didn’t think could be improved upon. If you want to try it for yourself, simply visit Google.com with a modern browser (recent releases of Firefox, Chrome, Safari and even IE8). As the day rolls on, more and more search users will be able to take advantage of the new search tool, so if you don’t immediately see an update, give it a bit of time and try again later.
To learn more about Google Instant, try visiting the official FAQ here.