Back in December of 2004 on The Official Google Blog, Google Software Engineer Kevin Gibbs announced that Google was launching a new Labs project. It was called Google Suggest and provides users with search suggestions in real time while they type. Gibbs mentioned that it actually all came about during his 20% time. He said,
The project stemmed from an idea I had a few months ago, and since then I’ve been working on it in my 20% time, which is a program where Google allows their employees to devote 20% of their working hours to any project they choose. What’s really amazed me about this project is how in a matter of months, working on my own, I was able to go from a lunch table conversation to launching a new service. In my opinion, this is one of the things that really makes Google a great place; that the company’s systems, resources and, most important, people are all aligned to make it as easy as possible to take an idea and turn it into something cool.
Four years later after Gibbs started the project in his spare time, and it has publicly launched. Those of you who use Yahoo’s Search Assist will already have an understanding of what Google Suggest is all about. For those that aren’t familiar, here are some ways that Google Suggest can help improve your searches. Google Suggest:
- Helps you form search queries
- Helps reduce spelling errors
- Saves keystrokes
Interestingly enough, in the announcement today, there was no mention of Kevin Gibbs who started this project originally. We don’t know if he’s moved on from Google, or if he’s just no longer heading up this particular project.