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    Motivated Procrastinator seriocomic's Avatar
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    Google Instant

    So today the search giant decided to throw the search world in to a bit of a spin with a controversial new approach to delivering a search experience with Google Instant.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElubRNRIUg4

    I was almost tempted to describe this as a radical change, but there have been a number of recent tweaks to the way Google (and even Yahoo!/Bing) tried to predictively or smartly speed up the search process, with Instant being hinted at as recently as a week ago.

    In today's product launch, Google VP Marissa Mayer stated that their latest initiative will save 350 million hours of wasted search time with Google Instant. In describing the product she stated:
    Our search-as-you-type demos were thought-provoking - fun, fast and interactive - but fundamentally flawed. Why? Because you don't really want search-as-you-type (no one wants search results for [bike h] in the process of searching for [bike helmets]). You really want search-before-you-type - that is, you want results for the most likely search given what you have already typed.
    Already the search community is divided (change seems to have that affect), with some declaring the death of SEO, while others are taking a more pragmatic approach. Googler Matt Cutts also chimed in with his thoughts. What a lot of people are not stepping back and observing, is as Chris Chrum states:
    Google clearly said that ranking stays the same with Google Instant, but it will change the way people search. It will affect their search behavior, and that is what search marketers are going to have to think about more than ever.
    So this really isn't about SEO, or SEM (although it will most likely impact both) - it's about user experience and delivering that in the best way possible. What this probably will impact more, is the expectations that consumers will have when it comes to search in general. Websites that have a search box, will be implicitly expected by consumers to behave the way they do on Google/Bing/Yahoo.

    More reading: http://searchengineland.com/google-i...rs-guide-50136

  2. #2
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    Great post! It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I'm not sure why it's thought to kill off SEO, as something must determine what the search terms up. Presumably it's not just page titles. Does anyone know?

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Luckily for me, keeping google on my javascript black list prevents this...

    Ever go to look something up in a dictionary or an encyclopedia? Ever end up a few hours later having read a whole bunch of crap but can't remember any more what it was you originally wanted to look up, because you saw all this other stuff while searching instead?

    Seriously, if I'm going to look up turkey recipes, you bet your butt I'll waste time reading about some festival going on in Istanbul instead.

    Yeah, no way. This kind of searching is for the incurious : )

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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seriocomic View Post
    So today the search giant decided to throw the search world in to a bit of a spin with a controversial new approach to delivering a search experience with Google Instant.

    In today's product launch, Google VP Marissa Mayer stated that their latest initiative will save 350 million hours of wasted search time with Google Instant.
    Except that it won't save me any time at all.

    In theory, I think it's a great idea, certainly a good next step for Google in terms of helping people get the results they want quicker.

    But...
    • It's much quicker for me to search straight from the address bar than go to Google's page.
    • Even if it wasn't quicker, for some bizarre reason, using Opera I can only get that damn stupid iGoogle page, no matter what I try I can't get the straight Google search page that you can get in every other browser, so I would never go to the Google search page. Plus they say it doesn't work on Opera.
    • Sometimes there's a definite latency to it, I guess if you start your query with a more popular word (eg "how to...") while it sorts through the squillions of options. That's irritating, as is the confusion as results appear, disappear and shuffle round while you're trying to concentrate on typing in your search query, and it's irritating that it does it without asking you and with no immediately obvious way to stop it.


    Quote Originally Posted by seriocomic View Post
    Already the search community is divided (change seems to have that affect), with some declaring the death of SEO ... So this really isn't about SEO, or SEM
    Exactly. When people talk about Caffeine or Instant or any other search engine initiative being "the death of SEO", it just shows up the fact that they don't have the first cue what they are talking about. Those search results have got to come from somewhere, and they've got to be ranked in order somehow, and that's where SEO plays its part. Yes, there may be a change in some of the strategies and techniques that work best, but the beast is still the same beast underneath.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Ever go to look something up in a dictionary or an encyclopedia? Ever end up a few hours later having read a whole bunch of crap but can't remember any more what it was you originally wanted to look up, because you saw all this other stuff while searching instead?

    Seriously, if I'm going to look up turkey recipes, you bet your butt I'll waste time reading about some festival going on in Istanbul instead.

    Everyone knows that cats have a notoriously short attention s....ooh look, shiny!

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    and it's irritating that it does it without asking you and with no immediately obvious way to stop it.
    Block scripts from the domain google.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Block scripts from the domain google.com
    Well I don't know... it actually has a link right next to the search box that says "Instant is on" or "Instant is off" that allows you to quickly toggle.

    I understand when someone (read MS) comes out with a new technology and shoves it down your throat, but here I think G has just given another option to display search results.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    • Even if it wasn't quicker, for some bizarre reason, using Opera I can only get that damn stupid iGoogle page, no matter what I try I can't get the straight Google search page that you can get in every other browser, so I would never go to the Google search page. Plus they say it doesn't work on Opera.
    http://my.opera.com/chooseopera/blog...-work-in-opera

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    • It's much quicker for me to search straight from the address bar than go to Google's page.
    I think this is the most relevant criticism of Google Instant I've read yet; to me at least, and users like me. While I am developing, debugging or trying to fix something I've broken, the process is usually the same:

    • Tab across to my browser window
    • Ctrl-T to open new tab
    • Type what I want
    • Hit enter


    If I wanted to "save time" by using Google Instant, I'd have to...

    • Tab across to my browser window
    • Ctrl-T to open new tab
    • Type google.co.uk
    • Start typing something && look at the results as they come up


    A similar sized list, but far slower, for me at least. This is the reason I doubt I will personally see much of Google instant. However, I don't know if it will affect us as a business either, because although the vast majority of sales come from Google searches (not other search engines), and a lot of our work goes in to improving search result rankings. From what I've read, these results won't change... unless potential customers start getting taken away on a wikipedia-esque WTF was I searching for in the first place situation :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardChallis View Post
    I think this is the most relevant criticism of Google Instant I've read yet; to me at least, and users like me. While I am developing, debugging or trying to fix something I've broken, the process is usually the same:

    • Tab across to my browser window
    • Ctrl-T to open new tab
    • Type what I want
    • Hit enter


    If I wanted to "save time" by using Google Instant, I'd have to...

    • Tab across to my browser window
    • Ctrl-T to open new tab
    • Type google.co.uk
    • Start typing something && look at the results as they come up


    A similar sized list, but far slower, for me at least. This is the reason I doubt I will personally see much of Google instant. However, I don't know if it will affect us as a business either, because although the vast majority of sales come from Google searches (not other search engines), and a lot of our work goes in to improving search result rankings. From what I've read, these results won't change... unless potential customers start getting taken away on a wikipedia-esque WTF was I searching for in the first place situation :P
    I think you might be missing the point?

    Google Instant isn't necesarily faster for an individual search (although it can save typing time by autocompleting your search query) but what it allows you to do is make multiple searches whilst doing an individual search. Instead of typing something, getting some results, deciding that it's not what you wanted and repeating the process, you can look at suggested results AS you type and maybe either find what you were looking for before having to complete typing it or find an alternitive that satisifies your requirements better then the original search would have.

    It's also great if you're not sure what you're looking for because it suggests words and phrase that you might not have considered or would have taken longer to get to otherwise.

    Overall for all types of search it's faster by miles.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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    SitePoint Guru Zygoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Luckily for me, keeping google on my javascript black list prevents this...

    Ever go to look something up in a dictionary or an encyclopedia? Ever end up a few hours later having read a whole bunch of crap but can't remember any more what it was you originally wanted to look up, because you saw all this other stuff while searching instead?

    Seriously, if I'm going to look up turkey recipes, you bet your butt I'll waste time reading about some festival going on in Istanbul instead.

    Yeah, no way. This kind of searching is for the incurious : )
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    evening, but this wasn't it-
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    LOL! I was really surprised this morning about this one...I was like typing my keyword then it got me an instant result...

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    What I've read in this article from hubspot

    Google Instant also means a shift toward focusing even more on higher rankings for specific long tail keyword phrases. The Google Instant interface reduces the need to scroll down the page looking for better results and essentially eliminates the need to look at anything other than the first page of search engine results. Users will look at the first three to five results at the top of the page without having to scroll; if they don’t see what they are looking for, they will adjust their search phrase instead of scrolling or visiting the next page of results.

    Ultimately Google Instant means a more personalized search experience, and it ensures that search results are no longer static. Search results continue to become more customized to individuals and their habits and preferences. While long tail keywords are now even more important, the changes Google made today only reinforce that to be found by qualified visitors online, you need to create and publish relevant content that is valuable and solves the problems of your prospects and customers.
    I don't see anything wrong with this technology but, to be honest, is there anything new under the sun? Because the search-as-you-type has been already in place for a while. I mean that Google already tried to autofill your search requests to do your search easier.

    This is just a little step forward, but not such a huge difference, in my opinion.

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    I have mental blinders on the rest of the page while typing a search term because I find that instant results thing really distracting. Kind of irritating.

    I do like that the page clears when I clear the search term though.

    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

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    Is there a way to turn it off?

    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    Is there a way to turn it off?

    If you don't want to see results as you type, you can turn off Google Instant by clicking the link next to the search box on any search results page, or by visiting your Preferences page.

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    You have a link right beside the search field that says "instant is on". Click on that and you will turn it off (it only appears when you start to type)

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    SitePoint Zealot Spartinman's Avatar
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    Do you think the SEO fight will heat up because of this. I feel that the longtail keywords will be a big mess due to the suggestion part of Google search since the instant is displaying the results so fast now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartinman View Post
    Do you think the SEO fight will heat up because of this. I feel that the longtail keywords will be a big mess due to the suggestion part of Google search since the instant is displaying the results so fast now.
    I just think people will know how to search better. It's like teaching people how to search via a search engine. So I don't think SEO will suffer.

    If anybody feels different please say, but I don't see how it can suffer.

    But if people know how to search better, then they probably would not be clicking on the PPC adds on the top. Come to think of it, it might have some affect on paid adds.

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    Another step in the wrong direction for a company that's already seen it's peak. They had to steal ideas from Microsoft for pete's sake!
    a new day, a new beginning
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    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    Another step in the wrong direction for a company that's already seen it's peak. They had to steal ideas from Microsoft for pete's sake!
    Many of Google's ideas were pioneered by other companies, but their success is down to them doing it better than anyone else.

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    This is an incredibly stupid and annoying "feature". You type one! letter and it starts returning results. How could it possibly know what I am looking for when I type one letter? This is STUPID!

    Just one more reason to use search.yahoo.com.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    This is an incredibly stupid and annoying "feature". You type one! letter and it starts returning results. How could it possibly know what I am looking for when I type one letter? This is STUPID!

    Just one more reason to use search.yahoo.com.
    So if you wrote the software, after how many letters would you start making suggestions to help the searcher?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    Many of Google's ideas were pioneered by other companies, but their success is down to them doing it better than anyone else.
    Let me know when they do something other than better search engine results. But that's starting to go south, since around 2006-07 - all you get these days is wordpress blogs with google ads on them, yay
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    I don't know what I think about this feature yet, as I switched it off as soon as I noticed it, but the first impression certainly was annoying. Maybe I'll give it a second chance later

  25. #25
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    To me the instant search says nothing more than "look, we could pick and move data quickly from our ridiculously massive dataset of indexed pages!" It's not asking for you to wait until you're done entering what you want to look and confirm by submitting the form.

    It's kind of like that person that tries to answer you as soon as possible when you haven't finished your question or statement, and then he has to backtrack because he misinterpreted your question because you didn't finish saying what you meant to say.


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