back to article Google Instant 'invented by Yahoo! in 2005'

A former Yahoo! product manager has claimed that Google Instant was invented by Yahoo! in 2005. In a blog post, former Yahoo! search product manager Steven Hood points out that in 2005, the company rolled out to tool known as Live Search, an AJAX-based online application remarkably similar to Google Instant. "[Google Instant …


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  1. MacRat


    They still exist?

    1. Youngdog

      Not sure

      ..I'll google it and let you know

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Did they invent the bugs, too?

    Funny thing happened to my browser recently (FF, Ubuntu). I could only get 10 entries listed for a search - I have explicitly set it to give me 50 at a time.

    Open up settings and, yes, the search settings had been reset back to the default of 10. Fixed that, saved my settings, went back to search - still only getting 10 entries. Switched off "instant" which had appeared unannounced next to the search button, went back to my settings (which had also reset itself back to 10 entries). Set that back, again, to 50, saved it (again) and this time it stuck.

    As a test, I switched instant back on - whammo, only 10 entries returned and my setting of 50 had been set back to the default.

    So Google, maybe when this facility is out of beta, and working properly, I'll give it another try. But until that time: instant search? nein danke.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There was a write-up somewhere on your issue

      ...if not here then LifeHacker or Ars. It's not a bug it's a "feature" :P

      Instant will only display 10 at a time and if you want more you have to disable it and got back to the old search method. At this time there are no plans to change that, although I don't think it would be too difficult for an Enter to take you to an old school results page - which would be the best of both worlds IMO.

  3. noahcampbell

    It's instant AdWords, not instance Search

    How often do adwords get displayed while you're typing your "instant search?" Kodo's to the chocolate factory for marrying those ideas. Unless there is some major backlash surrounding usability, I don't see it going away.

  4. Robert Forsyth


    Their back-end server has changed, but average user wouldn't notice, unless you change the front-end.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, does that mean it's 5 years until Google is irrelevant

    or that Yahoo! has taken 5 years to deduce its own irrelevancy?

    1. Elmer Phud
      IT Angle

      Ya who?

      I got really stoned one evening about 20 years back and conceptualised the entire Yahoo! thingy.

      1. Jerome 0


        Oh my god, you too? We should totally get together and sue each other.

  6. Bluenose

    Yahoo possibly newcomers on the block...

    I seem to remember a product from Autonomy that would provide search results from information on your local machine as you typed text in document. This could also be extended to the web. The search recommendations were supposed to be conext sensitive so could review your text on the page to tell whether the results were about penguins in the Antarctic or penguins of the LINUX kind.

    The product was available at least 6 to 7 years ago.

  7. meehawl

    Yahoo - Coulda Shoulda Woulda

    Over its long history Yahoo has managed to invent/buy in pretty much every great web idea before anybody else, and then managed to shut down/lose/ignore every single one of them. More than a decade ago, back in the late-1990s, it had user accounts/personas, photos, IM, email, profiles, online notebooks/storage, geocities, streaming, music, etc. It could have done Web 2.0/Facebook weborrhea half a decade before everyone else. Instead it just pissed it away through neglect and active mismanagement, deleting user profiles semi-capriciously, changing, renaming or neutering services. It's basically been crap since about Year 3 of its existence - I think its corporate DNA was fundamentally crap from the getgo. The only reason it has totered along for so long is that it happened to be in there so early, it had a huge pile of cash, and most banner ad buyers are lethargic.

  8. gimbal

    It was already a feature of Chrome, regardless

    You know, folks, I've just noticed that the Google Instant feature closely resembles an HTML-framed approach to such as can be already accomplished in the URL bar of a Google Chrome web browser - and that was around, and was from Google, before everyone started voicing their opinions about Google Instant.

    Like, when I type "History" in the Google Chrome URL bar, Chrome suggests to me a certain number of possible search results - including, URLs for The History Channel, which I believe I have never visited, in the entire browser history insofar as it would be recorded in this one web browser.

    So, Google has simply carried that functionality out of the Chrome web browser, as a logical extension of that actually rather nice search functionality.

    Now, if only their algorithms will get better at predicting my intentions.... Google, verily thou must read my mind yet! ><

  9. danny_0x98


    I'm all for giving credit for interfaces where due. While validation for Yahoo's past work may be deserved (I qualify because I don't know and don't pretend to know who did exactly what), I think Google's timing is more about the backend and it was more important that the implementation minimized the tradeoff between currency and interface dynamism.

  10. ordinaryjoe

    Unnerving - is google trying to tell me something?

    I was using google instant a moment ago.

    I started typing "I want one of those" looking for a prezzie

    I got as far as "I want" when google instant suggested "I want to die".

    That's a bit dark....

    Will google start instantly feeding me withadd links where I can find assisted suicide, or perhaps buy guns to blow my brains out with?

    Perhaps Google might think about filtering some of these instant results? Is it in good taste to speed up the process of investigating means of commiting suicide?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I LOL'd - out loud even

      For realz!

  11. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Not new when Yahoo "invented" it either

    Bah. Bradley Rhodes' Remembrance Agent did this back in '96; and in a more useful fashion, if you're an Emacs user.

    It was also an order of magnitude or so less annoying than Google Instant Headache.

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