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Submission + - Did Google Go Instant Just to Show More Ads? (technologyreview.com) 1

eldavojohn writes: Google, already the largest search engine in the United States, went instant a few weeks ago. It's a new feature that none of the competitors have and uses an extra five to fifty kilobytes per search. MIT's tech review asks why Google went instant and is skeptical that users actually look at search results before they finish typing their query. Othar Hansson, Google's lead on the initiative, informs them otherwise and claims that Google's traffic monitors didn't even blink at the extra data being sent across — primarily because of its insignificance next to streaming one video on YouTube. Hansson also reveals that Google's search engine is no longer stateless and therefore takes up a little more memory in their server hives. The Tech Review claims that 'sources at the company say Google Instant's impact on ad sales was a primary focus in testing the service. Google only gets paid for an advertisement, or sponsored link, when a user clicks on the ad, and ads are targeted to specific searches. By displaying a search's ads onscreen a couple of seconds sooner, the frequency of users clicking on those ads could only go up.' So money seemed to be the prime motivator and the article also coyly notes that the average length of time a user spends between typing in any two characters is 300 milliseconds — much too fast for old JavaScript engines. So of course you might recall Google's efforts to change all that with JavaScript speed wars. Do you find Google instant to be useful in anyway or does it strike you as just more ad gravity for your mouse?

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