Review: Google Instant

Google launched Google Instant today, which is exactly what it sounds like: search results appearing as you type. The concept is simple: you type something into Google, and you see search results for what Google thinks you’re going to search for, even before you finish typing.*

As I’ve mentioned before, Google isn’t my primary search engine, and even when I do use Google, I never use the website. Instant is supposed to launch browserside eventually, but for now it’s limited to the website. Since I probably won’t be using it too often for that reason, I decided to give it a try today, complete with its most important shortcuts: tab for finishing a word, right arrow to finish a query, and up and down to go up and down search queries.

Conclusion? Still deciding. This may have something to do with my typing speed. People have guessed this during NaNoWriMo word wars and (of course) last weekend when I wrote the three-day novel. See, I can create at least sixty words a minute when actually writing the words off the top of my head. Writing 900 to 1000 words in fifteen minutes is normal for me, not outstanding like it is to many others. When typing other things, I can type significantly faster, so the third-second or so wait before the search results appear is just a tiny bit faster than what I’d be waiting anyway. Still, that does save some time.

Since Google isn’t my primary search engine, I turn to it with very specific queries, usually those whose answers can’t be found on the first page of a search result. For those queries, the results usually won’t show up until entering the last word, in which case I may as well have just entered it in my browser’s search bar.

My results: Mixed feelings. Sure, I’ll save a few seconds, but I don’t use Google often enough that the seconds will add up significantly. If I really want to save those seconds, I’m better off searching from my browser instead of opening a new tab for Google and watching the results show up. That’s the ultimate time waster. For someone who keeps a search tab open all the time, this could be a lifechanger.

*Unless you’re searching for inappropriate content. Then you still have to type in the entire search query and hit enter.

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