co How Google Instant Can (And May) Waste Your Time |

One of the benefits that Google has claimed for its new product Google Instant is that it will save you time on searches. But will it?

Let’s review what Google Instant is exactly. Google Instant is Google’s new algorithmic innovation that delivers results to you as you type them in, which means you no longer have to wait until after you’ve typed in your search results to see what they are.

There are some definite benefits to this search feature. No. 1 of those is that there is huge potential to save some time on searches. Google claims you’ll save a few seconds for each search. However, you could end up spending more time searching. Here’s how.

Let’s say you want to find an auto mechanic near where you live in Chicago, Illinois. You type in “Auto” and you see a drop down menu of results that includes “autotrader”, “autozone”, “auto zone” and “auto locator”. Not seeing anything close to what you are looking for, you decide to keep typing. You type in the letter “m” and see another menu; it’s changed. Back up, you need a space between the “o” and the “m”. There’s another menu, which starts with “auto meter”, “auto museum” and a few other results. At the bottom you see “auto mechanic” so you click it.

Of course, you get a list of search results showing you auto mechanics. But are they all local? Chances are you’ll see a 7-pack or 3-pack Google Maps result. Maybe some of those are close to you and maybe some are not. But you don’t see any auto mechanics that are close to your neighborhood in Chicago. Back to the search drawing board.

This time you type in “chi” after “auto mechanic” and you get a narrower list of results. Did you save time? Maybe.

But what if what you are searching for is a bit more complex than auto mechanics? If you keep clicking on potential results in your drop down box while typing in search queries there may actually be a loss of time. Is that good?

We can discuss whether you’ll save or lose time on your searches, but from a business perspective, will Google Instant deliver you more traffic? I think it could. But you may have to tweak your SEO a bit. What do you think? Will you see more traffic as a result of Google Instant?