When Google launched 'Google Instant' in Sep'10, users were confronted by one of the most radical makeovers of online search in years: a results-as-you-type search engine. Many worried of the impact such an overhaul would have on SEO and ad impressions, while others wondered whether the system had an inherent brand bias.
Since then, have Google users shunned Instant as a disruptive technology, or welcomed it as the new template for the way we search the web?
According to Ben Gomes, the lead engineer on Google Instant, the engine's newest feature has had a remarkably small attrition rate: Roughly 98% of users are using Instant, leaving around just 2% of users who have opted out.
"We've seen good results with Instant, even after launch," Gomes tells Fast Company. "We found [we have] have a very low opt-out rate."
Still, Instant's low opt-out rates should not be the only measure of its success
Since launch, Google users are typing 5% fewer characters, and reaching results 10% faster than they were with traditional search. On average, says Gomes, users are seeing results about 4 to 5 seconds quicker than traditional search.
Gomes also said Google plans to integrate Instant with the Google Toolbar and Chrome browser.
With 98% of users hooked up to Instant, is it time for Google to get rid of its opt-out option too? As they reference how Google Suggest became the default option in 2008.
[tags]search results,google suggest,growth,adoption[/tags]