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Appeared on: Thursday, April 21, 2011
Google Adds More Predictions in Autocomplete

Google has furhter enhanced the autocomplete feature that provides predicted searches while you type.

One of the main ways autocomplete works is by looking at the most popular searches on Google. For example, most people who type "w-e-a" are going to search for [weather], so Google can make that prediction. What's tricky is that a huge percentage of the queries Google gets have almost never been typed before, so this makes it difficult to provide predictions based on popularity.

So now Google is making predictions based on only part of a search - specifically, the last word or words. For example, while few people have searched for [florida state senate building], many more have searched for [state senate building]. By looking at just the last part of what you've typed into the box, in this case "state senate bui," Google can generate a prediction for "building."

As before, to search for the predicted query you simply click the prediction or arrow down and hit enter. The feature can be particularly helpful for long queries, since the query is likely to be more unusual.

Google has been experimenting with this change for a couple weeks and it's currently rolling out to all users on google.com in English. As we continue to improve the feature and test additional languages and locales, the feature is expected to expand globally, Google said.


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