This week in search 4/22/11

This is part of a regular series of posts on search experience updates that runs on Fridays. Look for the label "This week in search" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

This week, we sped up search by bringing more predictions to autocomplete and enabling Google Instant in the new Google Toolbar 7 for Internet Explorer. You’ll also find more personalization for the tools you use most in this new version of Toolbar, as well as in Google News, which we updated with new features to help you find more articles on topics you’re interested in.

More predictions in autocomplete
One of the main ways autocomplete predicts searches while you type is by looking at the most popular searches on Google. This week we improved autocomplete for less common, longer and more complicated queries so that now we make predictions based on the last word or words of your search, getting you results even faster.

For example, previously you wouldn’t have gotten a prediction for [online store with underwater gadgets] since few people have searched for that exact query. But many more have searched for [underwater gadgets], so by looking at just the last part of what you’ve typed into the box, we can now generate a prediction for “gadgets.” You’ll see a dropdown box below the end of your search with predictions for just that word. This change is currently available for all users in English.

Google Toolbar 7 with Toolbar Instant
We continued to bring the speed of Google Instant to more places with this week’s launch of Google Toolbar 7 for Internet Explorer 8 and 9. Once you enable Instant under “Toolbar Options,” you’ll see search predictions and results appear as you type in the Toolbar search box. The new Toolbar also sports a cleaner look, and is more personalized—showing you only the tools you use the most. It’s currently available in English, but we’ll be bringing it to other supported languages over the next week. Visit to download the new Google Toolbar 7.

Automatic personalization and Recommended Sections in Google News
Yesterday, the U.S. English edition of Google News got two new features: automatic personalization and a recommendations gadget. When logged into your Google account, you’ll now see stories based on your news-related web history. For instance, if you click on a lot of articles about baseball, we’ll make sure you get a chance to see breaking baseball news. In the new Recommended Sections in the right-hand column, you’ll see suggested topics to follow based on stories you’ve clicked before. Learn more about personalization features in the Help Center.

Finally, before you head off for the weekend, don’t forget to test your search skills and try solving today’s A Google a Day question at

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