Yahoo’s Instant LiveSearch came long before Google’s Instant Search

Yahoo had, back in 2005, built its Instant Search called LiveSearch! But Yahoo did not ship LiveSearch on or as a part of Yahoo’s search engine.  Instead is was launched in 2006 on, a smaller, lower-traffic search engine that Yahoo had acquired years earlier and largely left to atrophy.

Yahoo’s search business was doing well at that point pf time, and maybe Yahoo just did not want to risk experimenting. It consequently missed the innovation bus! By focusing on the local maximum, Yahoo unwittingly traded innovation for incremental optimization.

Yahoo’s instant LiveSearch was thus relegated to a tiny test bucket of users who didn’t actually use Yahoo’s search product, says Stephen Hood, a former Product Manager on Yahoo’s search team.

Here is the 2006 announcement:

May 09, 2006. Today we are introducing a new search technology called Livesearch on AlltheWeb. It helps you find what you want faster, by showing search results instantaneously as you type. Livesearch also shows related queries, spelling suggestions, and enables you to use keyboard shortcuts to help you find the right query faster to get to the results that you want. As some of you might be thinking, this is an evolution of Instant Search and other search technologies we have been working on.

Livesearch has that uncanny knack of figuring out exactly what is on my mind. As soon as I start to type a query, Livesearch suggests the right query and shows me the results page before I even press a search button.

Google has now begun to roll out its Instant  to users on Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia who use the latest browsers. Users on domains other than and can only access Google Instant if they are signed in to a Google Account.

But if you want you can check out Google Instant by visiting this URL.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. He enjoys following and reporting Microsoft news and developments in the world of Personal Computing & Social Media.

One Comment

  1. Nithin

    I believe google had actually started some experiments of instant search much before 2003. As quoted from the google blog

    “Along the way, we’ve even built quite a few demos (notably, Amit Patel in 1999 and Nikhil Bhatla in 2003).”

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