Did Chrome Just Get a Huge Boost?

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For all the talk about Android at last month's I/O developer conference, search is what butters Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) bread. The search king knows it, too, and yesterday it introduced new features to improve the user experience and set itself apart from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) .

  • Voice search. Google teased this idea in beta around the time Mozilla introduced Firefox 4. The difference is, in March, Google was talking about speech-to-text. Now, Big G is enabling voice search on the desktop in a manner similar to how it does on a smartphone.
  • Instant Pages. This is a preloading mechanism that builds on the accuracy improvements created by Instant Search. The idea, Google says in a blog post, is to preload pages even as searches are completing. That way, when you click a highly rated result, there's no wait time for the page to appear. (Expect Google to patent this idea if it hasn't already.)
  • Search by image. Users can either link to or download an image to kick off a search. Think of it as Google Goggles brought to the desktop. The service was hit-and-miss in a couple of tests -- a Samsung smartphone was correctly identified, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wasn't -- but the idea is nevertheless intriguing.

Google also revamped its mobile search app to make it look more like the desktop version. New features include previews, a "plus" button for getting additional details on a query, and additional tools for finding local results, reports.

All three features are interesting, but it's Instant Pages that I think could be the game-changer, and it sounds as if it'll be built directly into Chrome's rendering engine. Would the increased speed move more people to adopt Google's browser? Are you already using it? Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to tell us what you think of Chrome and Google's search technology.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of, and Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2011, at 10:18 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Not very interesting, search is passe, it's already scewing results so that they're inaccurate. Much to do about absolutely nothing.

  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2011, at 11:53 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>it's already skewing results so that they're inaccurate.

    Interesting comment. Can you post a little more about your tests of Google's changes? I'm curious to know in what ways the changes are messing with otherwise good results.

    Thanks much and Foolish best,

    Tim (TMFMileHigh and @milehighfool on Twitter)

  • Report this Comment On June 17, 2011, at 12:52 AM, davidm8797 wrote:

    Yes, while I love all things Google, I think it's searching is getting weaker. It used to provide best results, now it tries to cater to you, and can be quite frustrating when you don't know what you're looking for. i.e. trying to do research. Maybe if they spun off a piece of Google to separate locating stuff you already know about and finding new stuff. Anyways, just a though

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