Google Instant: How Does This Change Other Search Channels?

The implications of Google Instant are fairly exciting, but still somewhat hazy at this point for marketers. Google explains, “If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.”

Does this mean these searchers will use those 3.5 billion seconds to search more? Or does it mean these searches will be shifted to other channels?

Google claims this to be a “fundamental shift” in search. Let’s remove the term “fundamental” and change it to “progressive,” considering the 15+ new technologies and adjustments associated with the September 8 release.

As usual, Google leads and many follow — or at least try. That being said, should we expect the same “progressive” shift in other search supported channels?

Comparison Shopping Engines

As comparison shopping continues to change and/or find its foothold again in the marketplace, is it beneficial for these engines to make a delivery change? Google will surely add Instant Product Search as their recent release carried over these in-line results for regular search.

Consumers will continue to become more visually aware and impatient, so how do we load product, prices and descriptions in a fashion that keeps the consumer motivated? Google’s trend will change speed expectations for many (70 percent of the search market).

As marketers, we also need to be thinking about these changes for the query overlap from search to comparison search. Will it condense the way consumers search on CSEs?

News & Editorial Content

Could this change the way we search for editorial content? Currently, I search for [Tea Party” and the syndicated results include an assortment of timely results; however it strangely seems outdated.

If CNN began syndicating their dynamic image, editorial, and video content (similar to Google), I would be more likely to consume and research within that particular channel. This type of editorial interaction seems organized or at least more consumable.

My hope may come true. CNN on-site search is powered by Google already. Interesting.


I’m not going to touch this one quite yet.

As mentioned, “…many follow or at least try.” This won’t be top of their priority list, considering the potential 6-12 month strain of Yahoo integration. That being said, would it be worth Bing creating instant search syndication for some of their top content channels, such as entertainment and health?

On-site Search Changes

Should we expect on-site search to change over the next few years? Will these legacy merchandising/e-commerce platforms be able to support such a change?

What if I went to Sierra Trading Post’s site, navigated to the Outdoors tab, began typing in [khaki hiking pants” within their keyword search box, and suddenly received a rush of pants results within 30 milliseconds. Users receive an image conscious stream of results that provide relevant visual cues.

This type of site experience would allow sales-oriented marketers the ability to enrich and increase the product experience. Will this change the way consumers elbow through on-site product?


Google Instant has changed the game. How will it continue to change user behavior?

As a search marketer, this is somewhat refreshing, but still somewhat unclear. This progressive change opened the door to new ideas (like YouTube Instant — the brainchild of a Stanford University student), but how will it change the way we market in general?

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