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Google Instant: An instant hit

After a short time, it's apparent this is one of those features, which after a month of use, will make you wonder how you lived without it. That means using a search engine like Bing will feel pretty old school in short order.
Written by Garett Rogers, Inactive on

You know you have done something right when pretty much the whole internet is buzzing with excitement over a new feature. Generally, when Google launches something, you get a healthy percentage of people who don't like it for particular reasons. It seems like too often that's my attitude towards things these days.

Google Instant, however, is a feature that I absolutely love -- and I'm not alone. This new feature is a really huge improvement in search. It might make some SEO companies nervous, but for the average consumer, it's a delight to use. What we are seeing is the same reaction people had when they saw Google Maps for the first time, or Gmail -- generally positive, and people see the value in it right away.

If you aren't already familiar with what Google Instant is, it's basically a combination of Google Suggest (the search recommendations while you type), and live search results for those recommended queries. Your enter key is all but useless when using the new search interface. One great example of how the new search capabilities work is when searching for the current weather conditions. Type "w", and in most cases Google will predict that you are typing "weather", and it already knows where you live, so it shows you weather for your current location. Pretty slick.

It's going to be interesting to see how competing search engines respond to this new feature. If not implemented correctly, and with enough care, it could easily add about 20x more search traffic overnight -- Google is basically doing a search for every letter you type. With this kind of load, it could easily "melt your data centers" as Google put it today.

After a short time, I can already tell that this is one of those features, which after a month of use, you will wonder how you lived without it. That means using a search engine like Bing will feel pretty old school in short order.

Do you have a different opinion? Let's hear it in the TalkBack!

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