On Wednesday September 8th 2010, Google released Google Instant for US users, which will change the way we search on the Internet. Basically, Google Instant automatically updates your search results as you type, meaning that you can refine your search in the search box by either typing more letters or using the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the suggestion box.
You can see in the above screen shot that the results not only update automatically, but they also drop down below the suggestion box so the top results are no longer hidden. When the drop down box appears, you can look down as these are the results being shown for your search. To refine or change your search – simply enter more letters!
How Is This Better?
Google Instant aims to save you time. It saves valuable seconds by removing the need to click ‘Search’ and then go back up and re-define your search query. Google’s Matt Cutts wrote in his What do you think of Google instant blog post, just how much time per your Google Instant could save:
“As the Google Instant page mentions, “If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.” With over a billion searches a day and over a billion users searching each week, that adds up to 350 million hours of user time saved a year. That’s 500+ human lifespans saved a year by this feature if everyone used it.”
We’re yet to see this rolled out in Australia, however you can learn how to access Google Instant on the Life Hacker Blog’s article on – Accessing Google Instant From Australia Or try the following link: http://www.google.com/webhp?sclient=psy
It will also be interesting to see how Google Instant affects SEO and the optimisation of your site. If users are refining their search results on the fly, searches will be getting more and more specific, which may in turn means pages optimised for the longer search phrase or long tail keywords will become even more important as searchers skip over the broader terms until they find the exact results they want.
You can view the video below to see it in action. We’ll update the release of Google Instant in Australia when it happens.