Re: [IxDA] Thoughts on Google Instant Search?

9 Sep 2010 - 3:02pm
5 years ago
1 reply
958 reads

I think Pauric hits on a very important point, which is that Google appears to be trying to optimize the overall process that starts with entering the first search term and ends with (one hopes) finding the right page link to click on.

The current interaction pattern often involves people firing one or a few ill-thought-out keywords at the search engine and being largely disappointed with what they get back. If we interrupt that and (gods help us) force people to think then we may be violating some local usability principles, but in service of a better overall experience.

I think that the speed at which the instant search performs is part of that, as well as its attempt to hook in everything it knows about you as a searcher. It's instructive to try the same searches when signed in versus when not. Google is clearly drawing on information such as your stated locale and browsing history in an attempt to give back suggestions and results that have a higher probability of being right.

To use an American baseball analogy, I don't see this as a "home run" feature, but more of a "solid double" that advances Google search past most other search options available on the desktop (*) and it puts them in a position to "score" if they continue to work at it.

Best regards, --Alan

(*) currently the feature is not available for mobile devices but Google has said this will be coming. Given the relative difficulty of typing on mobile versus desktop keyboards the cost/benefit equation there will be totally different and much more in favor of this kind of interaction, if it can be made sufficiently fast.


9 Sep 2010 - 3:14pm

I think something more interesting about Google Instant is according to Marissa Mayer, people spent more time searching overall (time on Google).  Their test users could perform an individual search quicker, however would get side tracked by the sites streamed in from the search as you type results. 

Also, the SEO implications of this technology could be very big, not to mention AdWord impressions and how they are measured (which I believe she said 3 seconds on the screen counted as an impression)

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