Friday, September 10, 2010

Google Instant: What It Means For You.


Some of you may have noticed that Google has implemented a new feature in their search engine. The company is dubbing this feature "Google Instant." At its core, Google Instant is an automatic-enter-button. Confused? It's okay, this is the internet. It happens.

Here's how this feature breaks down: While typing your query into the Google search bar, the search engine will automatically display results for each letter typed. If you are very efficient typist, you will probably never notice what is going on in the background. However, for those of you that spend your precious seconds scanning through each individual letter on your keyboard in search of finding the next sequential key, it will appear as though your favorite search engine is having a seizure.

For example, if you type "Where did I leave my car keys?"
Google will submit your search for each individual letter. If you type slowly, first you will see results for "W" followed by "Wh" and so on.

How does Google promise this will improve your searching?
According to google.com/instant:

"Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way."
What does all this really mean?
As seen above, "Smarter Predictions" is not actually a new feature. This has existed for quite a while, and should not be considered a change by any stretch of the imagination. "Instant Results" is pretty self explanatory, so we won't bother with that.
However, "Faster Searches" in this context is practically meaningless. Where Google pulled "2-5 seconds" from, I'm not really sure. However, the average adult types somewhere in the range of 40 words per minute. The average teen to twenty-something is probably around 70 words per minute. So lets average that out and say about 55 words per minute.
55 words per minute / 60 seconds in a minute = 0.91 words per second. So we can round this up to 1 just to make it a little easier to comprehend.
So we have established that the average person using Google would type about one (1) word per second into the search bar. If Google is saving me 2-5 seconds, this means they should be saving me from typing two to five words. So, if we use the previous example of "Where did I leave my car keys?" I should only have to type "Where did"
Now, I think we all can agree I'm not going to get accurate search results with 2/7 of my originally planned search.
All Google Instant is really doing is saving you from hitting the "enter" key or clicking on the "search" button. This action would probably take no longer than 0.5 seconds maximum, or less for those who type quickly. For the computer illiterate, however, once Google starts automatically entering search results, they are going to FREAK THE HELL OUT. The results could potentially be the following: The user will stop typing, and try to figure out what just happened. Potentially close the window, open a new window, type again, and realize the same thing is happening. After a while, they will (hopefully) eventually realize what is going on, but after all this it has increased their search time by 20 seconds! (Of course this is just an estimated number.)
Google Instant is a creative touch, but to the savvy user is no more a feature than a younger sibling leaning over your shoulder, constantly hitting the enter key as you try to type.
What do you think of Google Instant?

29 comments:

  1. more information.. not good for me..i will just click everything i see.. people would waste more time to finally get what they want.. too much distractions.

    <3
    Sillyoldbum

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  2. Thanks for the info bro! SUPPORTING!

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  3. its not even fast, its so slow

    http://marketengine.blogspot.com

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  4. I have been using it for the last 2 days and I love it

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  5. i really like the new feature , but its only available on their main site .com as far as i know.

    anyways ,supporting this !

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  6. Thanks for the info :)

    following supporting and loving your blog :)

    http://neopentyl.blogspot.com

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  7. I like it. Just when we thought Google couldn't get better.

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  8. I personally think that Google Instant is just annoying as hell

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  9. Actually I don't really like google instant. Plus, I'm pretty sure it takes more bandwith.

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  10. Showing my daily support for your cool blog.

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  11. thanx bro <3

    showin mah luv 'nd mah daily support <3

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  12. Sounds like a pain to me, I'll have to see exactly how they implemented it though.

    anyway, just showing some love :)

    mitsuruchan12.blogspot.com

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  13. Kewl story bro! Following

    http://the-state-of-human-intelligence.blogspot.com/

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  14. Showing some love :D

    Visit my blog(s) pls :)

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  15. cool post!!
    i like your blog
    supportin & follow you bro!;)

    ReplyDelete