If you’ve had to chance to use Google Search today, you may have noticed subconsciously there’s something different about Google’s most famous service.
In a surprise move, Google has disabled Instant Search, a feature that, prior to today, would automatically populate a search query with results as the user typed.
In a statement issued to Search Engine Land, which was the first online publication to spot the change, Google said it made the change in an effort to improve the search experience for mobile users, which outnumber desktop users as the most numerous users of the company’s search engine.
“We launched Google Instant back in 2010 with the goal to provide users with the information they need as quickly as possible, even as they typed their searches on desktop devices,” said Google.
“Since then, many more of our searches happen on mobile, with very different input and interaction and screen constraints. With this in mind, we have decided to remove Google Instant, so we can focus on ways to make Search even faster and more fluid on all devices.”
Moving forward, recommended searches, powered by the company’s auto-complete algorithm, will still appear, but results won’t render in real time.
Google first introduced Instant Search back in 2010. Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who was still with Google at the time, led the effort as the company’s vice president of search and user experience. At the time, Google hailed the feature as a major breakthrough. By the company’s estimates, Instant Search was collectively able to save users millions of seconds off their searches.