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Not Impressed with Google Instant Search

Posted by susabelle at 5:49 PM on September 22, 2010

I’m a heavy Google user.  I probably access the Google basic search page four dozen times a day.  I have never missed a Google Doodle (love those!) and Google is my go-to search engine for most things.  When Google Instant Search was announced, I thought, well, that’s cool, maybe I’ll like that.

Now that it’s been a couple of weeks, I’m wondering what the big deal is.  Yes, I can usually get displayed search results before I’ve actually typed in the whole search term, but then I still have to take my hands off the keyboard, grab the mouse, and scroll down to choose what I want to look at.  If Google wanted to make this cool, they’d make it instantly scrollable with my arrow keys, without having to stop and reposition my cursor with a mouse, or hit the tab key twice to get into the page for scrolling.  By habit, I have used the down-arrow-select-hit-enter move in the search box since Google made that available (what a timesaver!).  But let’s take that one step better and let me use that down-arrow-select thing even more seamlessly, jumping me onto the first search result and then letting me continue to down-arrow through the links until I get the one I want and can hit enter.

Or maybe this should become a function of the browser, of all browsers.  I love hot keys and doing things on the keyboard so I don’t have to move my hand to the mouse excessively.  Having had both shoulder and hand surgery in the last two years, the less arm movement, the better.  Maybe there’s already a plug-in to do this (I use Firefox) but I just haven’t found it yet.

As for the instant search, I guess it’s nifty, but all that flashing/changing text is kind of distracting, especially since I can’t really use it “instantly” the way I’d like to.

What are your thoughts?