I received an inquiry from a reader this week about the new Google Instant. Above is an example of how it works. I typed in "this is" and...hey, wait a minute...that is not very nice?! What's going on here?
Those of you who need an extra 2-5 seconds in your day will be greatly relieved to find out that Google Instant added a feature last month that tries to guess what you're searching for, and auto-fills in the Google Search field for you, to save you some seconds (and clicks). Actually, Google has been autocompleting the search box for years (e.g. HERE - notice the date), but now they've made it a publicized feature...and made it sound really "magical" with this passionate video.
But don't just think of this in terms of yourself. Google has estimated the global time-savings of this amazing feature: "If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second. (more)"
If you're still not quite understanding how you can save 11 hours every second by Googling exactly the same way you have always Googled, don't worry. Here's the real news. While making the world aware of this feature and pretending it was new, Google actually put some safe-guards into search to keep itself from suggesting sexually explicit search terms to children. Of course a huge cyber uproar ensued, then fizzled to nothing, when it was discovered that you could simply get around the so-called "censorship," by adjusting your settings. Mashable has more on the "blacklisted" words.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.