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Google Instant: How it makes searches zippier

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Google.com

(Read caption) Google Instant suggests ways to finish the question "why."

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Google rolled out a new feature Wednesday that it says will dramatically reduce the amount of time people spend searching online. The service, called Google Instant, saves time by eliminating keystrokes.

As soon as you starting typing into Google.com, the homepage serves up results. Tap out "the am" and Google fires back immediately with news and movie times for the George Clooney film "The American." No need to spell out the entire title. No need to click "Search." The results now appear automatically.

If you instead wanted local listings for "The Amazing Race" or help with your homework on "The American Dream," the new interface also offers a drop-down list of suggestions. One mouse-click and the new search results are at the ready.

That drop-down list is nothing new for Google – and comes standard features with Yahoo and Bing. Each search engine has compiled these suggested terms based on historically popular queries. Type "why" in Google and you'll see that the most common "why" searches are "why is the sky blue" and "why is a raven like a writing desk." (The first has to do with the separation of light coming into the atmosphere; the second is a nonsense riddle from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Don't take our word for it. Do the search yourself.)

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