What does a company that powers 70% of the search market, has over $20 billion in sales relating to search believe the speed of search should be?
Google estimates that a search typically takes the following:
9 seconds to enter
0.8 seconds for data transfers between the data centers
0.3 seconds for processing.
The users then spend 15 seconds choosing the link that the search results show up.
If anyone believes that this is a slow performance, Google Instant comes your way. It saves the average user 2-5 seconds per search via instant results, enhanced predictive technology and scroll-to-search functionality.
Google Instant will search at the speed of thought. Or at the speed of serendipity.
Now of all the great engineering prowess that Google deploys to make Google Instant, it is the predictive technology aspect that’s intriguing, deeply unsettling and maybe a big game changer. The search attempts to predict exactly what a user wants, showing the results that it thinks he wants in grey text, allowing him to choose. So, even if a user doesn’t know exactly what he’s looking for, the top prediction is shown in grey text in the search box and the user can stop typing as soon as he sees what he needs.
So, a search is a real time stream enabling the user to see more search results.
It essentially could mean that different people would see different search results for the same query. This could be just the beginning. The search results could again vary depending on the device from where the search is initiated or even by location.
This means the world of search is just not getting faster, but incredibly complex.
Well, all the marketers and SEO gurus have to change. Sites will need to be optimized for letter combinations, not just complete keywords. This also implies that advertisers will have to purchase more keywords in order to optimize performance. More importantly, Google will gain another revenue stream through ad impressions as currently advertisers are not paying for impressions.
I reckon the compelling reason for this development is that Google’s mobile search traffic grew over 50% in first half of 2010 and 1 in 3 queries from smartphones are seeking information about nearby places. Now mobile users would just like to enter a few characters and choose the query from an autosuggestion list. Right now it is difficult to figure out what this engineering feat of Google Instant will mean in terms of revenues.
And I am not sure whether fast is better than good.