Google Instant: Speed, Volume and Mobile
In addition to announcing 1 billion users per week, You may have heard about Google’s new “Instant” search feature launched today at its Search event in San Francisco.
The new search paradigm will serve results in real time as users type queries. Combined with the predictive text it previously rolled out, this will adjust search results as users scroll up and down lists of suggested queries (see video below).
Essentially, this is all about speed and volume. For users, it’s a good way to quickly know if you’re on the right track with a search term, and adapt queries on the fly. For Google, it means more results pages per query, which of course has monetization implications.
But what about mobile? It could have even greater impact when it works its way to mobile browsers this fall. So far, mobile search has integrated aspects of “discovery” in order to minimize typing and optimize other capabilities of the hardware (i.e., location awareness).
Today’s announcement fits mobile for all these reasons and could be yet another input mechanism that develops to be more intuitive for the form factor. In that way, it runs parallel to Google’s efforts to make mobile Web search more user friendly, toward the end of attracting users to search (via browser), instead of apps.
The former is where its core business lies (90+ percent of revenues), while the latter represents the world that Apple is trying to create. Look for more search innovation (we’ve already seen a great deal this year) from Google as a means to optimize the experience — and revenue potential — on both desktop and mobile devices.
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They claim that “Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search”. In our speedy era, this is astonishing! I’m wondering what Y! and Bing have to say about this. And not lastly, what impact will have G Instant on local searches.