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Google Instant: What Is It & Is It Worth The Hype?

September 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment

This development, Google Instant, has the search engine world talking and there’s a good reason for that reaction. It’s an especially public change is one searchers will be interacting with directly starting with the search box on the Google homepage. It doesn’t get much more public than that. This is one of those Google developments that could have a lot of repercussions for searchers, SEOs and search engine marketers the world over. What is Google Instant?

Basically it’s a quicker, instantaneous response to your search query as you type it. You’ll see that as you begin entering anything in the search box, from the very first character or number, Google will start trying to match what they think you’re after in an expanded box just below the where you’re typing.

The idea is to give you even faster access to whatever it is you want. This is a response to what they believe searchers are looking for – instant gratification, you might say. Does it provide it? Sometimes it’s on the mark, other times not so much. This is early in the implementation, though, so it might see improvements as time goes on.

Another issue is that you just might be slowed down in entering your query because you’re watching, and reacting to, what Google is throwing up. You can’t help but look at the stack of keyphrases that are appearing, which stops you from typing. So it’s not clear that this will speed up getting to your destination quicker every single time.


I think some will love this and appreciate the speed advantage it promises, even if it isn’t a huge gain. Google actually only promises 2 to 5 seconds of saved time. Others will find it distracting so they will turn Google Instant off by clicking on the link that’s next to the search box. You can also turn it off by going to your Preferences in Google.

It’s not ‘psychic’, truly anticipating without fail where you’re going, but it is quick to respond as your search query takes shape. There’s something amazing about how it can change direction without slowing one bit.

This will be making waves for some time, though it’s not entirely clear how or where that will happen. Even Google doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what this will ultimately bring into the world of search engines. That will be up to you and the other millions (billions?) of everyday searchers who are the true testing ground and the final judges on these developments.

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Tags: Google · search engine news

1 response so far ↓

  • Lex // Sep 11, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Here’s what Google Instant means – multiple useless searches with each letter you type in bogging down their servers and hogging internet band width for no good reason.

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