Last week, Google announced Google Instant. Instant represents the next step in internet search technology from Google Labs. Previously, if you went to perform a search on Google, as you typed your search terms in the box, Google would present you with a list of suggested search terms. But no search results were actually displayed until you clicked the button or pressed ENTER.
With Instant, the area below the search box where your results are displayed actually changes IN REAL TIME as you type your search term into the box. The theory is that Google can find your results even before you finish typing. This, in theory, saves you time because your results are already display, and you don’t always have to finish typing your entire search phrase out. Google is THAT smart. Or at least they think so.
Will Instant Hurt Rankings?
Instant is also not supposed to effect search engine rankings whatsoever. But, what about real-life results? Let’s say for example you are looking for real estate in Montclair, VA. You go to Google, and type “real estate in Montclair”… before you type “VA”, instant has returned results to you in the window, but perhaps the first 10 hits are for a Montclair in another state, say New Jersey for example. Had you finished your complete search term and clicked SEARCH, you would have seen the most relevant results first. But under instant, unless you actually continue typing your complete search term, you may not see those same results at first. Of course, if you do continue to enter the “NJ”, you will get the same results as before. But what about the people who don’t continue typing?
Google Instant is being rolled-out worldwide by country, and only for specific web browsers. Thankfully, they have provided an option for you to turn off Instant. It is pretty cool when you first try it out. I am just not sure if it will have an unanticipated effect on search engine results.
According to their analysis, Google Instant can save you 2-5 seconds per search. What in the world will you do with those extra seconds?