The premise of the new approach to search is that while you type your query Google is showing you results on the go. The results change as you add more to the search string and the suggestions for what you really might be looking for are always changing below your input.
Here is Google’s presentation of the new service in classic Google video format.
The post over at the Official Google Blog trumpets
Search as you type. It’s a simple and straightforward idea—people can get results as they type their queries. Imagining the future of search, the idea of being able to search for partial queries or provide some interactive feedback while searching has come up more than a few times. Along the way, we’ve even built quite a few demos (notably, Amit Patel in 1999 and Nikhil Bhatla in 2003). Our search-as-you-type demos were thought-provoking—fun, fast and interactive—but fundamentally flawed. Why? Because you don’t really want search-as-you-type (no one wants search results for [bike h] in the process of searching for [bike helmets]). You really want search-before-you-type—that is, you want results for the most likely search given what you have already typed.
Here’s my take. I don’t like it. The constant changing of the screen from the search suggest to the actual results changing on the fly practically gives me motion sickness. I’m all for saving time but if I need to take a Dramamine tablet before I Google something that won’t be very productive. If you are really trying to keep track watch the Adwords advertisers change on the fly. That’ll make some paid search manager’s head spin. If you want to give it a whirl go ahead.
Of course, I am being a bit facetious but I am really not a fan of this ‘improvement’. I am sure there will be two distinct camps on this one but the difference here is that Google is experimenting with its bread and butter. If someone decides that the new look isn’t for them it could be impetus to give bing a try. I tend to come from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school but that’s not how things work in the Internet era. As a result you get more miscues than many are accustomed to and more than a few huge gaffes (think New Coke formula level of screw up) that can create more trouble than it’s worth.
So what is your take on this new approach to search? Are happy, sad or indifferent? Does this even matter in the grand scheme of things?