Today at Google’s Inside Search conference, the company made a number of announcements focused on making search faster, easier and more accessible.

The short version is the new Instant Pages function will preload the web page of the top search result while you are still typing in your query, new Image Search will allow you send Google any image to get search results on it and Search By Voice is the mobile functionality ported over to desktop.

All of these only work in Google’s Chrome web browser for now, but Google has made the code available to other browsers in hopes they will incorporate it as well.

Instant Pages

Google has been making improvements to speed up searching. First they rolled out Instant Search which starts showing you results before you are finished typing your keywords into their search box.

With the introduction of Instant Pages today, searching gets even faster. Google assumes that most people will click on the top result of their search and so they automatically start loading that page in the background before you even click on it. When you do click it, it pops up instantly fully (or almost fully) loaded.

Image Search

Google also has a new kind of image search capability. You can feed an image to Google and it will display search results about that image.

The example given was a popular randomly generated meme image. By dragging and dropping it into the Google search bar, Google returned web page results that not only explained the meme, but also showed other variations of it.

Sending an image to Google for search can be accomplished in a number of ways:

  • Entering the web address of the image
  • Upload it to Google
  • Drag and drop it into the Google search box
  • Using the Chrome or Firefox browser extension

This new functionality is available as of today.

Search By Voice

Using technology developed for mobile devices, Google will now allow you to search by voice on your desktop PC. Using the mic embedded in your PC or an attached mic, you will be able to speak your search term instead of typing it.

This can be helpful for when you don’t know how to spell what you are looking for and is generally faster than typing. To enable it in Chrome, just click on the microphone symbol in the search box.

This new feature is being rolled out this week and is only functional in U.S. English for now.