Most people by now will have experienced the live search feature Google is debuting.   That aside (and we can look forward to the new  “innovation” Bing offers as a response), its being reported that Google instant was invented in 2005 by an ex-Yahoo  product manager.

Over on the blog of this ex-manager (Stephen Hood), he claims:

Back in 2005, prior to joining the del.icio.us team, I was a product manager on Yahoo’s search team. I led the (truly awesome) team that built and shipped Yahoo’s first AJAX search tools. Our biggest project and crowning achievement was LiveSearch: a fully interactive search UI that produced auto-complete search suggestions and displayed instant search results — in real-time as you typed.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2dg3jk5

So the question should be, why, when Yahoo is nowhere near the popularity of Google, did someone not bring this “biggest project” out of the bag?, or was the intention to be destroyed by Google??? In the all important world of search, not one Yahoo employee said “hang on a minute why don’t we try this….”?  Obviously not if the claims made by Stephen Hood are true.

All in all, my assessment is that Google Instant is a superior implementation, but LiveSearch was close.

Thats gracious of him I’m sure and for an “entrepreneur” (his words) the question also needs to be asked, why didn’t he push this idea at the time? did he not see the potential?  – I’d be moderately interested to hear what he has to say, however its all a little academic since Google have the feature…..Is Stephen Hoods comments a prelude to a court case? Only time will tell.  In the meantime, Google remains untouchable in the search.

Note to Yahoo: If you have any other little gems in your bag (like, allegedly this one), I suggest you get them out now before its too late…

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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