Google Instant: Biased or Unbiased?

Now that Google Instant has been out for a good portion of the year and people are getting accustomed to the way it works, some are raising questions.  When you begin to type something, Google Instant predicts what word or phrase you are trying to spell out.  What some people are wondering is how can they predict this and do their predictions have any brand bias?

Many have noticed that when you type away into Google, many of the predictions they provide are major brands or big name companies.  For example, if you type A-AOL is the first to come up, B-Bank of America, L-Lowe’s, all industry leading brands leaving many to wonder if the system was biased. Amit Singhal, head of the search quality, ranking, and algorithm team at Google, has all of the answers.  He explains that their algorithm is completely mathematical with no bias and the results are all based on probability.   The probability model works in a way that those who type T are most likely looking to search for Target, but if you add an R making the search “tr” the most searched phrase is a translation system.  Amit said the algorithm has excluded some phrases with foul language and adult content but other than this it is purely mathematical modeling.

While there are still some debatable topics out there on Google Instant, we can finally put this one to rest.  What do you think of Google Instant?  Does it make searching easier or do you find it annoying?

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