Google has just introduced an optional new feature for its AdWords customers called "Search As You Type." As the name suggests, it brings results as users type queries into the search bar on third-party retailer sites. If that sounds familiar that's because it is: the functionality isn't much different that Google Chrome Instant search, and the technology has been used on many sites (Apple, eBay, and Intel come to mind) for quite some time. The difference is that Google's implementation doesn't require any heavy lifting or custom website development.
The idea is that customers visit a merchant's site and when they begin searching for a particular product Google guesses — as you type — what you're looking for. Matched products will get small previews in the search bar dropdown that offers information like a picture, price, and more. Google is offering the service as part of its Commerce Search product for AdWords customers, and it'll be free for up to 25 million queries per year, with licensing fees thereafter. No word on how much that will be, but if you want to check out the feature for yourself both Hasbro and Lowes are leveraging Search As You Type now.