I heard and read quite a bit recently with folks querying why Google has introduced Google ‘Instant Searching’ recently. To me this seems obvious on a few fronts, but I have not seen any mention of the most obvious reason. One well respective journalist/media papa-san (the great Leo Laporte), and Revision 3 HD guru Robert Heron, touched on it when he suggested that a company that has grown upward of 25% annually cannot do it forever, so has to be seen to do something new to make the shareholders/investors happy, and in Roberts case to make better searchers for the non google experts out there.
Something Borrowed Something New
Years ago when the Internet was new I had new online pioneers such as a large grocery store chain (now with a separate ISP business) and the largest banks in the UK ask me the same question; how much bandwidth do I need to buy and therefore supply my online customers for this new thing called the Internet, for them to have online access to my site. That was the late 1990’s, before the cloud was what we have today, where the word ‘Internet’ was new and the phrase ‘online customer’ was not used yet. The Internet bandwidth world has evolved, but my answer to them I think is not too different today when looking at the obvious Google motivation (cost savings)
Then a 64k dedicated (copper) internet connection was around $ 10,000 USD per month in the UK (fibre did not kick in until 2mb and above). My answer to these companies (and a question back to them) was simple, do you want them to stay online or do their business and get off. For the grocery store chain, they wanted folks to place orders and get off, for the bank, staying online perhaps meant looking at new services they offered so a better experience was better for them. The common measurement of the day was a 56k modem, so depending on how many customers you expected you would need to do the maths a good experience for an online customer was a 56k speed (the fastest anyone could reach you) or 28k for an average experience. The end result was actually surprisingly accurate and working for one of the largest Telco’s in the world I was viewed as a hero just to be able to offer a simple view of it all.
Tell Me Why?
Jump forward to Google instant, and I think you can see where this is going. 64k of bandwidth in an in house server has been replaced in Google’s case with over a million servers globally, in data centres around the world with huge bandwidth and search requests in the billions a day and at least 40 petabytes of data daily. The question remains the same does Google want people to stay online or get off. The answer might be both, but they likely want people to stay online (exposed to ads perhaps) but better if the searches are for the right item and the right ads. That is for every wrong Google, a user requests it is not far-fetched to see this is costing Google time and money. Speed up the search request and the savings would be huge.
Dumb as a Fox
Of course if Google was evil, then you could say that offering the wrong items in the search (also easy with Google instant) could expose users to many more wrong ads, and cost Google advertisers more money (offering them more fake hits) and making Google more money. Either way it seems Google wins, not so unexpected.
Story by MrInternet