Google Spell Checking Within Search Box?

It appears that Google is testing showing a red squiggly line in the Google search box as you type, if they feel the spelling of your query is wrong. You know, the red line you see when you have a spelling mistake when using Microsoft Word or other word processors.

At first, I thought it was a built-in spell checking feature of the browser, but after seeing additional reports and then seeing it myself last night, it seems to me to be a new feature Google is testing.

Here is a screen shot of it in action:

I’ve had several other people confirm Google was showing them this red squiggly line for this search query last night. This morning, I am no longer seeing it.

I received a report on this from an anonymous reader, saying he is seeing it for other search queries. He showed me some brand searches, all spelled correctly, but Google showing it as a spelling mistake by showing the red squiggly line underneath it.

Again, this is not a browser spell checking feature, it was Google adding spell checking to the search box.

I asked Google to confirm this and have yet to hear back.

Postscript: Alex Hall commented, noting that Google has added a background image at google.com/images/experiments/wavy-underline.png which is the exact same color and wave of the underline we reported above. This is just one more piece of evidence that this is indeed a Google test.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Suggest | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Search Features: Spelling Correction

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.devseo.co.uk Alex Hall

    When inspecting the underline with Firebug it would appear that an extra div is laid over the text with the background image set to:

    background: url(“//www.google.com/images/experiments/wavy-underline.png”) repeat-x scroll 0 100% transparent;

    This suggests it’s a Google experiment judging by the url of that image ;-)

  • http://fr.linkedin.com/in/zinebaitbahajji zaitbahajji

    Yes, I can see the spell checking line as well and I think it’s a google test. But I’ve been seeing that feature for a few days now, not just since yesterday…

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