After a week of teasing the media (in classic Google fashion), the company today, did, in fact, have a BIG announcement.
To those that don't follow tech or internet marketing, it may not seem like a big deal ..... yet.
To those that study user habits, buy web advertising or practice SEO, this very well could be considered a HUGE change.
Google has made no secret in the past of their desire to ultimately have their search bar simply give you the best answer. This has always been a goal. Enter a question or phrase and get a result, directly from point to point, with relevance always being a top priority.
I've read, throughout the day, other people's thoughts and reactions to today's announcement about Google Instant .... which is already appearing in many locations already (Screen shot below) and should be live everywhere in just a few days.
(Note: Once Google Instant is actually available to you, the entire results page will change dynamically as you type!)
I found Google's Matt Cutts' take on the product particularly interesting.
Over time, Google has treated the main search page as sacred territory. There have been very few changes to their 'premier' and deliberately simple entry page. The last time Google made a 'game changing' move was the implementation of 'Universal Search' or the list of options at the top of the page .... that now fade in. The 'fade in' is even more recent and apparently was deployed to try and get users to search first, prior to seeing some of Google's other products at the top of the search page.
Unlike changes to other web-based products recently that have set off firestorms of controversy (can you say Facebook? :), this subtle yet powerful change from Google should be welcomed by most.
Although some may not yet see it this way, Google just changed the game again and with an estimated 65 plus per cent of the search market .... and that IS huge.
The coming weeks will tell the story on how Google Instant effects user engagement, PPC, SEO and more.
[ Links, content updated Sept 9, 2010 4 AM ET ]