Google adds suggestion ability to its Web site query line

Google has launched Suggest, a search feature that offers query suggestions as the user types in the search field.

A full year after Yahoo's Search Assist was launched, Google has its own brand for a very similarly behaving predictive text search tool. Granted, the Google Toolbar already had a similar feature, and it has existed in Google Labs for a considerable period of time, but it is now a default feature on Google's main page.

Suggestions are based upon query popularity, so when the smallest amount of input is entered in the search bar, the most popular terms are yielded. As more variables are entered, the more specific the suggestions become.

On the official Google blog today, Suggest is touted as a feature that would come in especially handy when trying to find the artist and song title based only upon lyrics heard.

So BetaNews did a test to see how long it would take for Google to suggest exactly what we were looking for. In this case, it was a truncated Bible passage popularized by 60's pop group The Byrds: "A time to be born, a time to die."

What we typed What Google suggested
"a t"A to G
"a ti" - "a time to"A time to kill
"a time to b" - "a time to be"A time to be so small lyrics
"a time to be b"A time to be born lyrics

When the top suggestion is clicked and searched, the number one result provides an answer...ironically on a Yahoo Answers page. But that is simply a noteworthy anomaly to an otherwise effective use for Google Suggest.

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