Quick Impressions on Google Instant

by Dave Michels

Today, my newsfeeds were clogged with chatter about Google Instant News. If you want to know more about the feature see any other site.

Here is what the other sites didn’t mention:

  • GoogleDroidsThe concept of speed and time continue to get distorted. Yesterday’s Google search was fairly amazing, but who has time to press enter? If you really think about what it is doing: transmitting keystrokes, guessing the thought, searching the entire web, offering completed search criteria, offering ads based on assumed search, and displaying search results – all while you type – it is nonsensical. Impossible. A feature from a science fiction story. Remember how long things used to take? Having to wait until the newspaper or the newscast for news? Or having to wait until Sunday to search the classifieds?
  • Is it too much? The recent Schmidt Ice Cream truck video showed an evil Google that already knows your favorite flavors. Is it creepy to have Google guess your thoughts – to read your mind? To know what you are searching for before you can type it? Google is a Jedi Master “THESE are the droids you are Searching For”.  And you can bet Google’s suggestions have great power over the weak minded.
  • Mind the forms. Google Instant reminds us that it’s what we type – not what we enter and “submit” that a website can see. Ever enter your wrong password and correct before hitting submit? Too late. Reminds me of the call monitoring services that listen to people while on hold… we always assume that no one is there during hold music – but sometimes they are listening. It is best to monitor people when they don’t think they are being monitored… Or the car salesman that leaves the speakerphone on while “checking with the boss” hearing couples confer…“if he goes $1000 lower we will buy it”.
  • Thank you Bing. Google Search really had not changed much over the past decade…until recently. This past year there have been lots of nuances and improvements. I wonder why Google has turned up the heat on improving its search experience.
  • Surprise! I regularly write about Google news (particularly Google Voice), and I am often asked: Why is Google so secretive? The answer is simple – there is no reason not to be. Instead of rumor and innuendo, Google prefers facts and sees no merit in pre-announcing its plans. The traditional upside to such activities is an attempt to build buzz. But Google needs no buzz. The coverage of Google Instant Search was thorough, widespread, and extensive. I can’t imagine the number of lesser stories that got bumped from the news cycles today. When Google Talks, E.F. Hutton listens.
  • The Bob Dylan tie-in was cute, and made about as much sense as a Bob Dylan song.
  • It is an interesting feature, which I wont’ use much. I don’t go to google.com pre search any more. Ever since my FireFox Google search box in the browser. Today I use Chrome and search on the address line… who goes to Google? It is nice for subsequent/follow-on searches. But us professionals can usually nail it in the first search.
  • A mobile version? Really!!?? All this talk about the impending shortages of mobile bandwidth it is good to know that every keystroke (and backspace) will now involve mobile bandwidth.
  • Remember, it is about the ads. Google is an advertising company – how easily I forget. The number of what Google calls “impressions” just increased exponentially. Lots of impressions means more potential clicks and more revenue. We think we don’t like ads, but we do as long as they are relevant. This aspect of Google Instant is the brilliant part (for Google).
  • Lastly, it is probably the coolest yet most useless feature ever. It is almost more of a distraction. I’m just trying to type in something specific and the whole screen is changing with each keystroke. The end result is the same. Thanks for nothing.