Google Instant Ups Ante for Microsoft, Yahoo

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-09-12 Print this article Print


Susquehanna Research analyst Marianne Wolk believes Google Instant for Mobile, when it appears this fall, will be a disruptive force in the mobile Internet.

Currently, typing and searching on smartphones is a chore for most users, who tend to give up on searching if they don't quickly find out what they want.

Thus, being able to execute searches with just a couple keystrokes should boost the number of searches conducted. Consumers simply won't be as reticent to search from their handsets, Wolk believes.

"With improved search relevancy, we would expect a rise in mobile CPCs, and over time, mobile ad pricing should close the gap or exceed desktop CPCs," Wolk wrote in a Sept. 9 research note.

"Stronger CPCs coupled with an increase in clicks and conversions should mean stronger mobile advertising."

Google Instant on desktop and mobile is bad news for Bing and Yahoo, analysts believe. Microsoft's Bing team shrugged off Instant, and Yahoo lamented letting comparable technology fizzle in 2005.

Squali said Google Instant will force Microsoft and Yahoo, whose search results are now powered by Bing in the United States, to ramp up their search innovation and investments.

Wolk said that because Google Instant is likely to make users accustomed to focusing on the query box rather than the left column or the page of Web results, it could make it more difficult or less satisfying to use other search engines.

"Thus this innovation in user experience could improve Google's market share lead, and at a minimum, will force competitors to play catch-up," Wolk said.

Of course, Google users will have to embrace the technology first. IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds told eWEEK Instant may turn off some Google users. Ultimately, he expects that Instant will be generally well-received.

"This will put pressure on Bing and Yahoo and Ask to provide an equivalent experience," Reynolds said.

"While Bing has had the initiative in user experience innovation over the past year, Google Instant shows that Google is very intent on continuing to dominate the Web search space-both in technology and user traffic."


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