7 years after the 0.65 Trillion dollar (to date) search engine company first introduced this ‘REM showing of results as you type’ feature, Google has finally dropped the ball on its Instant Search.
What Is Google Instant?
You are likely very familiar with “Google Instant” even if you don’t know it by name. It goes by many names, “Instant preview”, instant predict and most commonly “auto complete”.
There is even a game based on auto completion of search Queries Family Feud Style. -googlefeud.com
Predictive results fueled by autocomplete algorithms anticipated user intent and offered a glimpse of information even before queries were fully formed. This innovation was lauded for its speed and convenience, with projected reductions in search time of 3-5 seconds and potential elimination of the need to type entire queries.
However, Google’s seemingly groundbreaking feature hasn’t stood the test of time. Despite its initial appeal, the question remains: why is Google pulling the plug on Google Instant?
Google Instant Is Out of Date
Google Instant, once hailed as a revolutionary search feature, has fallen victim to the rise of mobile devices. With over half of the world’s population now using search engines on their phones, the way we interact with information has fundamentally changed.
Why did Google kill it?
A one-sentence – Mobile traffic surpassed the desktop one.
The compact nature of mobile screens poses a significant challenge to Google Instant. As users type, the feature overlays search results on their current screen, hindering their ability to view the original content and navigate seamlessly. This creates a less than ideal user experience, prompting Google to reconsider its future.
Eliminating Google Instant also opens the door for a more fluid and timely search experience across all devices. This move aligns with Google’s recent focus on mobile optimization, including initiatives like mobilgeddon, the mobile popup update, and the index divide.
By letting go of Google Instant, the company can now invest in making search faster and more efficient for mobile users, a critical step in the evolving digital landscape.
What Does the Future Hold?
Google Search is adjusting its products to best fit mobile users. Google Instant Search couldn’t find a place, literally, to fit in. So now results change only in the search bar.