Lee Odden

5 Instant Search Engines & the Mash-up

instant searchImitation is the sincerest form of flattery and on the social web, that flattery goes one step further, often in the form of a mash-up. Google has launched a variety of services to much fanfare by the media and yawns from the masses (Google Wave, Buzz).

However, the recent implementation of Google Instant has resulted in a number of “instant” implementations on other types of search. Twitter has tempted us with the promise of real-time, all the time and Google’s effort at real-time results has resonated with a number of developers. How much it has resonated with the searching public at large, is not yet being disclosed.

Check out the following Instant Search applications and see which you like best:

youtube instant search
YouTube Instant: Need videos NOW?! Try YouTube Instant by Feross Aboukhadijeh, who was offered a job by YouTube CEO Chad Hurley.

instant image search
Google Images Instant: Apparently Demi Lovato has “D” nailed down but the puppies have the market cornered on the letter “p” using this instant Google image search site created by Michael Hart, who also created instant maps, instant Amazon and others. Oh, and he’s also looking for a job, Google.

bing instant
Bing Instant: If you want an alternative to Google Instant, then check out the real “live search” version of Bing Instant made by Long Zheng.

itunes instant search
iTunes Instant: Why not iTunes instant search? 15 year old Stephen Ou answered the call.

meta instant search
Meta Instant Search BL3NK: If you want a meta instant search experience, try BL3NK

Have you found other instant search applications? Any that are actually useful?

Here’s more info on Google Instant and what it means for searchers as well as search optimizers.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Never really paid much mind to this but I think you have something worth to look at since it’s so so simple to use these sites totally for FREE. Straightalk Online Solutions agree nice JOB!

  2. Google Instant search is still the best of the bunch IMO.

  3. What I’m curious to see is what Google uncovers about how people’s searching habits have changed as a result of Instant. The most powerful company in America holds the power to Instantly shift how we use the Internet. What do you think it will uncover?

    • I don’t think it will change the effect on web sites in the search results that much. How it changes user behavior, we’ll see. If more sites offer instant type information, it will be expected in many more places.

  4. Interesting. Google Instant is currently the best i guess, but the choice of diversity does make things more interesting. The iTunes Instant is rather impressive, as is the Google Images instant. I hope the creators of both go a long way 🙂

  5. Am I the only person who thinks of Google Instant as the lazy person’s way to search? I am always interested in improvements that any search engine makes, but it comes to the point where I think there was a lot of hype and then at least in my opinion, a let down. I have been using Chrome for nearly a year and the search bar in chrome has been telling me what I want to search for the whole time. The only difference is that the results page is not being displayed and changing in front of my face. I want to have control of my search…completely. I turned it off and found it annoying. Anyone else?

    • Interesting that you say that vee, because I prefer my Google search results un personalized and without consideration of my web history. I search mostly through the Chrome search bar, so I rarely do many initial searches from the Google.com website. I am also curious what others’ opinion on this are.

  6. I really hadn’t paid any attention to instant search applications until now. I just sat here and tried each application from your screen shots. If I had to choose the one I like best, it would have to be YouTube Instant. I say this because I’m usually in a hurry to get to the next song or search for the latest song out by some artist and often it will pop up in the bar before I type the entire first name. I found Bl3nk at first sight appearing to give a lot more info, but a closer look I found it repetitive. I’ll continue to use home keys and type the entire line for whatever I’m search for…yep.

  7. Wow, good list. I fount the new one http://lookinto.net a few days ago. This site looks great.

  8. Thanks for the information about instant searches. Personally i think that instant feature requires a lot of practice for getting what the user wants.

  9. I think Google got it right with Google Instant. I like it, it works well, it is super fast and if you end up having to hit the “search” button then from usability perspective it lets you know that you have a “long tail” search. At least that is my experience of it so far.

    If Google Instant works well over the next year, it will force other search engines and websites to follow suit. If not, those sites will seem old and out of date. Similar to sites that have forms that do not use AJAX or Json when choosing a country/state/city.

    You’ll know a site or company that is up on technology. I think Google Instant will make others play catch up.

  10. Search Twitter instantly on Twitstant – great site!

  11. Check InstantZon.com as well. It is cool too.

  12. Avatar Rami Aboushawish says

    I also found quicka.me. It looks like it’s off to a good start.