Google Offering Partial Suggestions

Here’s some odd behavior I noticed in a misspelled search I was doing. I tried to search for “small crack in window how to fix” (or something like that), but instead typed “small crack iw” and stopped.

Using Firefox as a web browser, Google gave suggested searches up to “small crack i”, but when I made the misspelling, the suggestions stopped.

The search results all seem to deal with cracks (‘cracked rotors’, ‘micro-cracks’).

(click image to enlarge)

However, when I did the search with Apple’s Safari web browser, I still got search suggestions, but now they were only for the last word “iw”. I had never seen partial suggestions before; normally the suggestion box is as wide as the search box.

It’s also interesting to see that Google gives different results based on which browser I was using. (I knew that they did this, but even so, it’s interesting to see.) Here, Google is interpreting “iw” to be the start of the word “iWork” (another Apple product). Obviously, someone searching with Apple’s browser might be more interested in Apple products than someone using Firefox.

And, with Safari, Google is interpreting “crack” as a verb (in this case meaning how to illegally turn trial software into a fully functional package without paying for the full version).

It seems to me that there’s a lot of visual space taken up by the Suggest feature in most searches, so it’s interesting to see little tweaks like this that might be leading up to a reworking of this functionality.

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