Photo: AP Images
Google Instant is awesome. I think it will end up revolutionizing web search and I think its favour and adoption rate among users will soar.Google Instant allows the user to see results as they enter in thier keyword. Plus, by seeing the results as you enter in a keyword, you can change your keyword to quickly get the results you are looking for.
Because of Instant, the percentage of users that will have to scroll over to the 2nd or 3rd page of the search results page is going to drop dramatically. This will happen because users are going to end up entering a more efficient search term because they can quickly see the results that will come with a given search query as they type out the query. With Google Instant, users will often discover a more relevant website than they would of had they completed their search query. So, its not just the speed that is improved with Instant, the usefulness of Google search is now drastically improved as well.
Google Instant will take a while for many people to get use too. But over time, as Instant becomes the norm, it will be ingrained in all of our brains as part of the Google.com experience. The Google ads down the right hand side of the results page use to not be there, but over time, when search after search showed the ads — users got used to it. After only 5 days of using Instant, I am already more comfortable with it and I’ll bet 3 months from now, I won’t even remember what search was like without Instant.
Google said that “Our testing has shown that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search.” That is a pretty big deal, as someone who searches Google 35 times per day would save about 2 minutes per day from using Google Instant. Over the course of a year, that would be roughly 12 hours of less searching for a user. This speed benefit along with the relevance benefits I believe outweighs many of the benefits that users were seeing when they favoured Bing over Google.
Most websites want to keep the user on the site for longer – but with search – users are at a doorway to the web and they want to get to a given webpage as quickly and simply as possible. Bing may offer a cool and fresh image each day – and other neat tools — but the speed, simplicity, and usefullness of Google Instant is ground breaking for search.
With the integration of Bing into Yahoo results, and the significant improvements Bing has made – momentum seemed to be shifting away from Google. However, Google Instant helps to remind internet users where they can get the simplest, quickest, and most beneficial search experience. The launch of Instant should also help to give Google a solid boost during a time when many are knocking Google and predicting that the future web won’t need Google.
I think we can expect Google to not only improve the usefulness of Instant but also move it into other areas of Google. Youtube, Gmail, and Google news all could be enhanced through instantaneous results as you type. Imagine if you searched your GMAIL inbox and could see past emails as you typed. Or, if when you searched for a video on Youtube, imagine if you could see the video thumbnail images as you typed. I think we are only at the tip of the iceberg with Instant and I think that Google’s properties and the web as a whole will be better off for it.
Many business schools reference the New Coca-Cola as one of the biggest consumer products debacles of all time. Coca-cola had changed its 99 year old formula to the New Coke in 1985, and than switched back to the Classic Coca Cola less then 3 months later. And, granted, Google hasn’t made a change of this significance, but for Google to automatically opt-in users to Google Instant is a pretty big leap of faith. And, after just 5 days of use, I am confident that Google Instant is here to stay and that the web will never be the same again.
Evan Britton founded Sency in 2009. The goal of Sency is to bring real time content, links, and tools, to internet users in an organised and simple fashion.