Google Instant Search: why I hate it and why it may be unethical

by Steve Seager

Google Instant Rant - Why I hate it

This is a rant.

The new (and evil) Google Instant predicts your search and shows results before you finish typing. It also gives you instant results…as you type…before you have finished typing your sentence.

Google claims it will reduce the time spent on search by two to five seconds a request. Saving users around 350 million hours a year.

What complete nonsense. (That’s the censored version.) I don’t want to save two seconds when I search, I want Google to listen to what I am looking for and then offer me relevant results via SEO!

What I don’t want is for Google to support online advertisers and those with money in mass communications to boost their visibility over what I am actually looking for.

Why I hate Google Instant

To paraphrase Charlie Brooker:

“Using Google Instant is like trying to order from a waiter who keeps finishing your sentences for you, while simultaneously ramming spoonfuls of what he thinks you want directly into your mouth, so you can’t enjoy your blancmange without being force fed a gobful of black pudding first.”


Why I think Google Instant may be unethical

I believe that Google’s suggested results (based on this predictive gubbins) may be unethical because the predictive searches are drawn from the volume of searches online.

However, the volume of searches online is also driven by advertising, pr and mass communications through all channels (on and offline, inside social networks, on mobile, TV, print and so on). This means that…

Whoever has more money to create visibility gets talked about more. So actually, Google is helping deliver more results for advertisers that pay Google’s wages!

In short, If you have more money to spend – Google will help you by suggesting you as a result. If you don’t, sod you!

Doesn’t that make Google a paid recommendation engine rather than a search engine?


Thank God you can switch it off.

Rant over.

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