The concerns that Google Instant might make incorrect guesses, act as a flashy distraction, or focus too much on quantity versus quality (in relation to results) have apparently been dismissed. A Google employee shared an impressive fact yesterday: the opt-out rate is under three percent.
Austin Carr wrote after an interview, "According to Ben Gomes, the lead engineer on Google Instant, the engine's newest feature has had a remarkably small attrition rate: Roughly 98% of users are using Instant, leaving around just 2% of users who have opted out."
That represents a big PR win for Google. Although it's something of a cliche, it might honestly be difficult to get 98 percent of people to agree the sky's blue on a clear day. Consider that someone would want to use an adjective like "azure," and the occasional crazy might supply a term along the lines of "muskrat."
What's more, Google Instant is making itself measurably useful. Carr wrote, "Since launch, Google users are typing 5% fewer characters, and reaching results 10% faster than they were with traditional search. On average, says Gomes, users are seeing results about 4 to 5 seconds quicker than they were before the company introduced Instant."
So the risk Google took when tweaking its famous search engine has worked out for just about everyone.
Now it's hard not to wonder whether other changes will follow under the company's new CEO.