Google Instant: A to Z

One-letter searches raise more questions about data Google is using

Google announced its Google Instant feature today, which performs your searches before you even finish typing in the search bar. It basically eliminates the Search button and the Return key, saving you time when you’re searching.

Of course, typing in long boxes of text produces a close approximation of what you are looking for, but it’s also interesting if you just type in a few letters, or even one. To see what Google thinks most people are looking for if they type in one letter, I decided to hit the alphabet and see what Google came up with. It turns out you get a lot of brand-name Web properties and corporations:

A: Amazon.com B: Boston, MA (Google Maps, but then the City of Boston Web site) C: Craigslist.com D: Dictionary.com E: eBay.com F: Facebook G: Gmail (surprisingly, not Google) H: Hotmail (ha!) I: IKEA J: JetBlue K: Kohl’s L: Lowe’s M: Mapquest N: Netflix O: Orbitz P: Pandora Radio Q: Famous Quotes and Quotations at BrainyQuote R: Red Sox (whoo! Take that Yankees!) S: Sears T: Target U: UPS V: Verizon W: Weather.com X: Xbox (although the first link is a sponsored link by Walmart.com for the Xbox) Y: Yahoo Z: Zillow.com real estate Web site

With so many Web sites and companies, is Google charging a premium to these companies for the right to come up based on a single letter? Or is Google basing these letters on my search history, my profile data, or my location? Or are these generic for everyone? Try this yourself and see if your results differ. Let me know in the comments.

Here's a video that explains more about Google Instant:

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