Google adds speed and speech to search


Google has made some significant changes to its search business, making it faster to access results and adding speech recognition.

The Silicon Valley giant yesterday announced Instant Pages, which prepares the top search result in the background whilst the user chooses which website to visit.

This will save users another two to five seconds on typical searches, Google said.

"Instant Pages will pre-render results when we're confident you're going to click them," said Google Fellow, Amit Singhal, in a blog post.

"The good news is that we've been working for years to develop our relevance technology, and we can fairly accurately predict when to pre-render."

Instant Pages will feature first in the next beta release of Chrome, although the developer version has been made available today.

Google has also brought the voice search capability it introduced to mobiles into the desktop.

"If you're using Chrome, you'll start to see a little microphone in every Google search box. Simply click the microphone, and you can speak your search," Singhal said.

Speech recognition on desktop is rolling out now on in English, he confirmed, claiming Google's voice search traffic has grown six-fold in the last year alone.

Google also introduced Search by Image, which lets users upload any picture or plug in an image URL to figure out what it is.

The feature is also rolling out from today. It can be accessed via a button next to the microphone on

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.