Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Instant Google

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There’s no flies on the Goog.

They introduced a new feature this week, Google Instant.

Unlike most instant coffees, Google’s already been there and done that when it comes to caffeination (hearkening back to the Google Caffeine update from a couple years back).

This go round, Google’s moving into the world of instant search relief.

It’s also setting off a firestorm of commentary about branding online.

Let me explain: Assuming your connection has gotten the update, go to http://www.google.com and just type in the letter “A.”

What comes up first in the listing? “Amazon.” Followed by “AOL.” Followed by “ATT.”

Then, type the letter “B.”  “Best Buy” is at the top of the list. Followed by “Bank of America.”

I skipped on over to “I,” thinking that IBM might come up first.  But no, it was “IKEA.”

IKEA???  Other than being a Swedish furniture company, what in the world is IKEA doing coming up when I search for the letter “I”??

Fortunately, when I typed a “B” after the “I,” IBM finally appeared at the top of the short list.  Whew!

I can already envision the crazy games people are going to try and play to game their way to the top letter of the new Google search alphabet.

The new Instant, non-caffeinated search coffee Google’s brewing is also likely to turn some heads at the online advertising marketplace.

Impressions are going to likely go up with this new feature.  Possibly way up.

For those of you not in the online advertising know, online impressions are typically the ways by which advertisers measure the number of times their message or ad was presented to an individual consumer via a search or online display ad.

But by saying they expect this number to go up, does that mean there really were more search queries Did the Google search sea, in fact, rise?

Google seems to be saying, well, possibly.

On the GoogleWebmasterCentral blog, Doantam Phan from the Instant Search team at Google explains that impressions will be measured three ways with Google Instant:

  1. Your site is displayed in search results as a response to a user’s completed query (e.g., by pressing “enter” or selecting a term from autocomplete). This is the traditional model.
  2. The user begins to type a term on Google and clicks on a link on the page, such as a search result, ad, or a related search.
  3. The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds.

So, marketers everywhere, let me be clear: If I’ve been up half the night writing this blog post, and I suddenly go to Google long enough to search on “sleep remedies,” and I fall asleep on my keyboard during that three second interval…well, you’ve just bought yourself a valuable search impression.

I fear this new (and seemingly arbitrary…but hey, you gotta draw a line somewhere) three second rule is going to be talked about ad nauseum.

Hey, could somebody call Miss Blankenship and get Don Draper on the line?!

While we wait for Don to finish his three martini lunch, let’s not forget the great productivity enhancement this new change provides.

Google user experience queen Marissa Mayer wrote in a blog post introducing this new feature that Google Instant saves the average searcher two to five seconds per search, or 11 hours with each passing second.

Awesome.

Google’s just saved nearly 350 million man hours (Note: The latest top-trending search on Google was “tom brady car accident,” just in case you were wondering what folks were doing with that productivity boost).

My only question is, can Google Instant do my laundry instantly as well?  That could save me tens of hours a day per year, hours I could have better spent online searching via Google and contributing to the “Google Bottom Line Benjamin Franklin printing press” (Try finding that query on Google Instant!).

Well, who am I to complain about progress?

I lead SEO in IBM’s Software business, and I think I’m going to go ahead and chalk up the increased impressions from Google Instant as part of my year-end bonus package.

Just don’t look for my name under the letter “T.”

That’s been reserved for “Target.”

Written by turbotodd

September 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm

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