Launched in 2010, the Google Instant Search feature was designed to provide users with information as quickly as possible. When you began to type a search term, Google provided some predictive suggestions for what it thought you were looking for and displayed search results below the search box.
Now, those search results will only appear if you select the search term, or hit enter. That means lost real estate, and more competition for your company to appear in a search engine result.
Take the below example for when a user would search for a hotel. On the left, Google Instant Search would display results for hotels in the area that it believed would be useful to the searcher.
On the right, we see what Google currently offers when one starts to search for hotels. Predictive keywords still appear, but recommendations below the search box do not.
The decision was made to be more fluid and consistent with mobile search, which did not have the Instant Search feature. When you make a search on mobile, Google only allowed the search box to appear. Screen sizes constrained the ability to preview search results in a way that provided a friendly user experience.
Mobile search has now exceeded the number of queries made by desktop devices, and this move from Google indicates that it’s focusing on mobile more and more.
A representative from Google gave Search Engine Land the following explanation for the change:
“We launched Google Instant back in 2010 with the goal to provide users with the information they need as quickly as possible, even as they typed their searches on desktop devices. Since then, many more of our searches happen on mobile, with very different input and interaction and screen constraints. With this in mind, we have decided to remove Google Instant, so we can focus on ways to make Search even faster and more fluid on all devices.”
It is a critical time to ensure that your company’s website is designed to be responsive and is laid out in a way that complies with search engine optimization best practices. Google is clearly focusing more and more on mobile-friendliness as a best practice, and websites and businesses must follow their guidelines if they wish to remain relevant and competitive in their industry landscapes.
To learn if your website is mobile-friendly, contact the team at Absolute Marketing Solutions today for a free mobile-friendly assessment.