Google has launched a new feature that tries to guess what users are looking for as they type queries into a search box.
Google Suggest quietly debuted this week on the company's Labs site, which showcases Google features that "aren't quite ready for prime time," according to a message on the site. When a user starts typing a request into the search box, a drop-down menu appears with possible suggestions as to what the user could be looking for.
As you type into the search box, Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for your query after you search, except that it works in real time. For example, if you type "bass," Google Suggest might offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or "bass guitar." Similarly, if you type in only part of a word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you refinements like "programming," "programming languages," "progesterone," or "progressive." You can choose one by scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.
Google uses "a wide range of information" to predict queries, according to an FAQ, including data about the overall popularity of various searches. The company does not use individual search histories to help generate the prompts, it says.
Google Suggest FAQ
Google offers a suggestion