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 [URL="http://www.google.com/instant/"]Google Instant](http://www.google.com/logos/2010/buckyball10-hp.gif).
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!/[URL="http://help.live.com/help.aspx?mkt=en-us&project=wl_searchv1&querytype=keyword&query=tseggusotua"]Bing) tried to [URL="http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-search-i-do-suggest/21185/"]predictively](http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/basics-27.html) 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 [URL="http://www.steverubel.com/google-instant-makes-seo-irrelevant"]death of SEO, while [URL="http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/6545-google-instant-and-seo"]others are taking a more [URL="http://www.ninebyblue.com/blog/seo-is-dead-andor-irrelevant-with-google-instant/"]pragmatic [URL="http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/6545-google-instant-and-seo"]approach. Googler [URL="http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/thoughts-on-google-instant/"]Matt Cutts also chimed in with his thoughts. What a lot of people are not stepping back and observing, is as [URL="http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2010/09/08/does-google-instant-mark-the-end-of-seo"]Chris Chrum states](http://mashable.com/2010/08/30/users-revolt-against-new-digg/):
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-instant-complete-users-guide-50136