Google launched ‘Google Instant’ last week with a much hyped press conference with live streaming video of the event on YouTube. Since then the social media buzz and the blogosphere have been invaded with tweets and posts about Google Instant.
Google claims that Google Instant makes the search experience more fast, fluid and fun.
The main components of Google Instant are :
- Instant Results
- Scroll To Search
Google suggests or predicts what the user might be searching depending on each character the user types in the search query box. The user can select what he is searching for by using the arrow keys and as the user makes the selection the search results keep on changing accordingly. The user does not need to hit the ‘Enter ‘ key.
What is important to note is the speed with which it all takes place. Its fast and really fast. Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search. Google claimed at the launch event that in just an hour that Google Instant has been up it has already saved 36,542 hours of our time. Well if time is money then it surely has added that much productivity potential also to every industry as search is a vital aspect for research and knowledge for each and every industry and this shall surely reduce a lot of disguised employment.
Marissa Mayer of Google who presented this concept stated that Google Instant isn’t search as you type, it’s search before you type. She even mentioned in an interview that Google Instant is to search what power steering is to a car and it surely helps people with slow typing speeds.
Google Instant has started rolling out to users on Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia who use the following browsers: Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8. Please note, users on domains other than Google.com can only access Google Instant if they are signed in to a Google Account. Google will continue to add new domains and languages over the next several months. Google Instant is not yet available on mobile, but Google plans to release it soon.
Google Instant is being referred as search at the speed of thought. But what has to be considered is the impact of this on the users, the search experience as a whole and the future trends in t he search and SEO industry as a result of this speed incorporated in the display of search suggestions and search results .
No doubt search is faster but due to the fact that the users are just using the arrow keys to select the predictions made the user starts focusing on the first few results and the inclination of scrolling down may decrease over a period of time as user starts searching for more queries rather than more searches per query. In a way it has a direct effect on the patience levels of the user.
Moreover, if the user is focusing on the first few results then Google needs to list more relevant results instead of results from Wikipedia or other verticals as when people search they want to know about companies offering the product or service they are searching for – locally or globally.
This should force Google to display quality results but, if this initial display slot gets occupied by PPC and especially the companies with high search marketing budgets then it shall affect the benefit derived by the SMEs due to organic search. As I mentioned that over a period of time the tendency to search for more by scrolling down the page and searching other pages may diminish.
But on the other hand considering the technological advancements in hardware also, it seems that this problem maybe soon be solved. As in the near future there is expected to be a huge shift to the mobile devices and if more and more people start using smart phones, IPads and other mobile devices for searching and surfing then the touch screen devices shall make the scrolling and searching for more easier and faster.
As regards the SEO industry Google instant has not affected the rankings. The basics of the search are the same. So for whatever terms your site has been ranking it continues to rank for them on those SERPs.
So the SEO scene is very much unaffected but Google Instant might just cause a temporary disturbance for the SEOs when all the clients start demanding to be in the first 3 positions. But, Understanding the changes in the search behavior, due to the introduction of Google Instant will need actual data that can be collected over a period of time. Hence we have to wait and watch to find out the actual impact.