How does Predictive Search Differ from Conventional Search?

Predictive online search evolved from conventional online search engine results, so they naturally share base similarities, but are quite different in their search query results.


Conventional Online Search

Conventional search demands the user to be as specific to the answer they seek as possible to receive the most relevant results whereas predictive searching does a little more of the guess work based on individual search history.

The current global search engine trend is all about simplicity, efficiency and intuitive technology. Bringing you to the answers you seek in the most seamless fashion is the ultimate goal.

Predictive Online Search

This is where predictive search offers a value benefit that conventional search does not. With the insert of one keystroke, results are generated based on how various related and/or relevant documents, images and other media could be connected.

Naturally, the more specific you are and the more connecting information you give about the answer aids in bringing you closer to your ideal online search results. This is one of the similarities of the two algorithm models and is subject to the user knowing exactly what they seek.  This is most often not the case causing the user to edit and refocus the query to achieve a more relevant search results.

Assisted Search

Predictive search engine assists the search by offering suggestions that can help you clarify what you are looking for based on previous search history and other key indicators.

Online Social Behaviors


Because of the predictive search engine’s ability to tap into your Gmail, You Tube, G+ and other online social behaviors it brings you in theory more results based on individualized preferences with a high potential of being relevant.

Search Engine Algorithm

This decision is made by the predictive online search algorithm model, which differs from the conventional search algorithm model in the following ways:

“Predictive indexing is the first data structure capable of supporting scalable, rapid ranking based on general purpose machine-learned scoring rules. In contrast, existing alternatives such as the Thresh- old Algorithm (Fagin, 2002) and Inverted Index approaches (Broder et al., 2003) are either substantially slower, inadequately expressive, or both, for common machine-learned scoring rules. In the special case of approximate nearest neighbors, predictive indexing offers substantial and consistent improvements over the Locality Sensitive Hashing algorithm.”

This is an excerpt from a research paper conducted by New York-based Yahoo! researchers. Beneath the technical jargon the differences between the two are highlighted. The elements of intuitive expression and speed seem to be key areas in that desired refinement in the conventional search.

The predictive model has brought these elements to the table with algorithms screening not only your query but also all information you have shared during your overall tracked online experience.

Google Instant

Google Instant logoGoogle has introduced Google Instant for the browser as a search-before-you-type feature. GI uses previously typed information, forecasts the most likely completion as you type and stays in real-time streaming the results as you type. Features at the core of this new feature are subjectively relevant results, which are displayed dynamically as you type, enabling fast interaction and modification as you type.

The grey text you see displayed as you type is a key component of the new Google interaction. This text intuitively appears as you key in your query, allowing instant access to relevant results on the homepage. You can also scroll through the predictions without committing to one or the other as you decide which is the most suitable.

Opt-Out Option

Visiting your Preference page you have the option to turn off this feature if these changes are disruptive or confusing. Navigate the web as an anonymous browser is also possible by signing out of your Gmail account as you browse, but this will seize to be an option in the near future as we are heading into an internet where not being logged in will be frowned upon.

Utopia of Computer Communication

If using Google as your preferred search engine, expect constant upgrades to the way you interact with the search engine and the results attained, as Google continues its strive for what looks like the utopia of computer communication.