Google has refined the way it delivers search outputs so that users can get to the top result even quicker. But the method it has chosen may require the company to take additional care.
The new feature, Instant Pages, as you and I may think, is not related to Instant Search, which begins delivering results before the user has finished typing their query.
Instead Instant Pages deals with the sites that the results point towards. In other words it will download it in the background so that if the users click on the link, they’ll get the page almost instantly.
The company says it won’t prerender the top result in every case, but will instead do so only when it is confident the user will click on it. You’d think Google would always be confident of this if it’s the top result, but the distinction appears to be the margin by which a particular site is judged to be the most relevant. The reason for being selective is that its possible prerendering the top result could make it slower to click on and load other results.
Where Google will need to be careful is the risk of prerendering a page that contains malicious content. It’s hardly uncommon for hackers to “game” Google to get the top result when a particular search term (such as a newsworthy name) becomes popular.
The Chrome browser is already set-up so that it abandons prerendering if the relevant page flags up a malware warning, since it is good with tackling malicious software issues anyways.