Google Instant launched today and it’s very cool and I find it really quite amazing that Google can return results that fast. However, is it the death of SEO like Steve Rubel suggests? Absolutely not.
I have just a few thoughts about Google Instant I wanted to share with you today.
First of all I find it really really REALLY annoying. Go to Google.com and start a search. Instantly you go from the nice main page with the search box in the middle of the screen and all that nice whitespace stretching as far as the eye can see to a search page that’s doing the jiggy as you type. Oh and where did that search box go? Oh, there it is up a the top of the page. This is a massive usability faux pas in my opinion. I’m expecting my mom to call any minute now and ask why her Google broke.
Secondly I believe a huge proportion of people look at their keyboards while typing so Google Instant isn’t helping them at all. In fact, they’re better off because they’re not distracted with the screen boppin all over the place.
The third thing I was thinking about based on a tweet from @Dixon_Jones is that Google Instant could shorten the tail and lengthen the head. The idea here is that Google may be able to head people off at the pass after they’ve typed the second word of their search and before they’ve typed the third word of the search for example. This is an interesting idea but it would only work for people that look a their keyboards and look up after every word to make sure it’s right. I really don’t see people being able to type a 3 word query and while doing that comprehend the changing search results and see what they want while typing. Either way this will be proven or not in the coming days as we see the data in analytics. I doubt this will actually happen though. The long long tail queries are typically so specific that the results along the way will not be helpful to the user. More likely this may affect torso queries more.
So Google Instant is an impressive display of computing power and for me that’s about where it it ends.