Google Instant Could Satisfy 80% of Searches
As you probably know by now, Google Instant delivers streaming search results as you type, without refreshing the page or requiring you to hit the search button. Instead of streaming new search results for every possible query with each keystroke, however, Google Instant delivers results from queries suggested by Google’s autocomplete feature, suggestions gleaned from common search queries. As Google VP Marissa Mayer puts it, Google Instant is “search-before-you-type“.
Google Instant will change the search game on multiple levels. Most searchers will find what they’re looking for faster. Curious searchers will start exploring autocompleted queries. Deep searchers will start refining their queries instead of scrolling through results. Google will get increased search volume. Google’s competitors will have to catch up and satisfy elevated user expectations.
The impact of Google Instant becomes even more pronounced, however, when you consider just how many of the world’s searches it will instantly satisfy.
Predictable Desires Instantly Gratified
As it turns out, human desires are surprisingly predictable. According to Google, only 20% of all Google searches are unique — that is, they show up only once every ninety days. That means a whopping 80% of all Google searches are frequently repeated — thus predictable by autocomplete, and thus answerable by Google Instant. That means 80% of the time, Google users will never have to hit the search button.
As people get used to to exploring autocompleted queries instead of typing in new ones, expect the percentage of frequently repeated queries to increase, and expect even less people to hit the search button. We’re entering a world where four out of five questions get answered before they’re even asked.
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