BNR Website and Digital Marketing Blog

BNR Branding Solutions is based in Huntersville, N.C., and is a full-service web development and digital marketing company.

Friday, 17 September 2010 05:43

Google Instant

Written by 
Rate this item
(3 votes)

For the last 12 years or so, Google has worked pretty much the same way – type your search query in to the box then click one of the 2 search buttons. September 8, 2010 marked a day of significant change to a brilliantly simple page. Meet Google Instant, did you notice?

So what changed and why?

After doing a little testing, Google determined that people read faster than they type. A simple enough premise right? Well, Google decided to see how they could use that to make a better user experience. Since we read faster, it would be possible to scan other parts of the page as we type. Using a mixture of several new technologies, Google now starts to search as you type, then magically updates your search as you continue to type your query. They also predict what search term you intend to type. In theory, we will save 2-5 seconds per search with the new format.

So why fix it if it ain’t broke? Of course we could just take Google’s word for it that they just want to help us find what we are looking for faster. I don’t doubt that faster searching was part of the decision, but I don’t think the driving force was benevolence. No, Google is in the business of serving ads and what better way to increase revenue than to increase the number of ads they serve? This is the truly brilliant part – not only are we searching faster meaning that we can now do more searches, but you will also notice that the ads displayed update as the search results change based on what you have typed. But wait, there’s more! Since Google is predicting what you will type, they are also increasing the chances that you will search for something other than you intended, also increasing the likelihood that you will perform more than one search.

After a week of using the new format, it would seem to me that Google has once again managed to come up with a game changer. It hasn’t been hard to get used to and I haven’t even given turning the feature off a single thought (it can indeed be disabled). There has been some grumbling in the SEO and Pay per click worlds, but nothing that has been substantiated yet. It remains to be seen how this gamble will pay off for Google, but you can bet that there will be plenty of opinions both for and against the change. So what do you think? Is this an Instant Failure of Instant Win?


BNR Branding Support

Brent Friar is the owner and chief web developer for BNR Branding Solutions. His development experience dates back to 1994 when he was a founding partner of Internextion Web Development in Orange County, CA.

Go To Top