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Google instant and search confidence

In search engines, Uncategorized on September 29, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , ,

This post is an excuse to give props to a lovely, visual analysis of Google Instant and its early impact on how people search. The author found that nine out of the eleven sites analysed had increases in usage of 6-7+ word terms. The data bore this out- there were decreases in shorter, 2-3 word search phrases.

Does having several similar phrases flash up as soon as you enter text into Google (the purpose of Google Instant) act as a prompt or encouragement to lengthen your search phrase? I think it does, simply for the reason that I find it comforting to know that a series of word exists as a bona fide phrase and that I’m not typing in a bunch of gibberish (which does occasionally happen). I bet some people find it annoying and will plead with Google to give us an option to turn it off. Seriously- if it starts to maybe seem a bit irritating at this point (which it does to me), it will be agony after a few months. I realise it can’t be avoided by using the search bar embedded in Safari at least…

Speaking of presumed pleading- Gmail now gives us the option to not show emails as threads. Good news for some, but I’ve gotten used to it.

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4 Responses to “Google instant and search confidence”

  1. [...] This post was Twitted by alanfricker [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alan Fricker, Health Informaticist. Health Informaticist said: Google instant and search confidence: http://wp.me/pdn4V-mx [...]

  3. Wouldn’t this effect have kicked in hust through Google Autocomplete?

  4. I don’t know- I always thought of autocomplete as more of an annoyance than a help. If you manage to type quickly and press enter you don’t get the supposed benefits of autocomplete either, because I used to do this to defeat autocomplete. I guess it wouldn’t have had a picklist, but rather guesses the ‘best’option for what you type?

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