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On the evening of October 30th 2007, I was doing my typical SEO rank checks, when something caught my attention at Google.com. As I was typing some text into the search box, out came a gray box with search suggestions that got ever more precise as I typed in my text.
The dropdown box on Google certainly appeared to be very similar to Yahoo’s Search Assist. The exception is that the box also contained the number of search results for each given term, much like what is found on Google Labs. This was a two column format, with the suggested search term on the left and the search result number on the right. I saw no option to disable the search suggestions as Yahoo provides.
Thinking that this was the launch of yet another search engine feature, I quickly logged on to my Digital Point forum account and began a thread about this new feature. The responses took me off guard. Nobody else could see it. Knowing that my vision is good, I returned to Google to try it again. This time I would post a screenshot. Well, I never was able to take the screenshot as the search suggestions were off. What I had seen was a rare occurrence and quite possibly the testing of a new search feature on Google.
Despite being the dominant player in the search engine market, Google is smart enough to know that Yahoo is its closest competitor. And even Google, the behemoth it is, plays catch up to the competition every now and then.
The author, Bill Woosley, is the owner of the VMOptions Web Directory.