We recently released an autocomplete feature that’s been picked up by many of our clients. This uses previous user’s searches (in aggregate) to automatically create keyword suggestions, which are then displayed in order of popularity. It is really fast too. Head over to surveillance-video.com if you want to see it in action.
Prior to the release we had trouble estimating how often people would use it. We couldn’t find any usage stats out there we could use as a baseline. While it is still early days, it is currently being used 20% of the time, and on average people are saving themselves from typing about eight characters each time. Saving a few keystrokes is great, but the real benefit appears to be helping people use search terms that are hard to spell – spelling suggestions are required much less often on sites with this technology. This means more people are finding what they want the first time, which has to be a good thing.