Is Google Instant aimed at killing "I Feel Lucky" & making more money? |

Is Google Instant aimed at killing "I Feel Lucky" & making more money?

By Kevin Gibbons / September 9, 2010

By now I’m sure everyone’s all seen and had a play around with the new Google Instant search interface. There’s lots of early reaction to this on the web, my own included on Econsultancy yesterday.

Obviously the main goal behind this is to provide results much more quickly and look to improve a searchers overall user experience. But has anyone else noticed that the “I feel lucky”, while still listed on the homepage, is actually now redundant?

Google Don't Be Evil
Image credit: Flickr

In my opinion, the majority of Google’s changes and updates look to achieve one of two things:

  1. improve the relevancy of results for searchers, and
  2. make more money

Ideally both!

However, Google Instant is about increasing speed and reducing the user journey required for searchers. But interestingly it looks like it will make them more money too.

By providing results as soon as you start typing, the new search function now bypasses the “I feel lucky” button, which has cost Google an incredible estimated $110 million dollars in potential revenue in the past! Any good conversion optimisation specialist (or accountant) would tell you to remove that button – which is effectively what Google have done. The only way you can click the “I feel lucky” button now is for an empty query string on the Google homepage, and this just takes you to the Google logos page.

So that’s clearly a great way of generating extra revenue and that’s all before taking into account the extra paid search ads being served for each query and the potential extra interstitial┬áclicks generated while mid-query.

Also, for Google – the main reason they are such a huge money-making machine is their huge market share? As I mentioned in my Econsultancy comments, if Instant has a negative reaction this could be a good time for users to switch (most likely to Bing). So how this affects the user has to be the main objective first and foremost. Increasing the average value per searcher is also a goal they will be keen on improving further, and rightly so, but it does little to their revenue if the market share drops as a result.

So what do you think, is a major increase in revenue a key and intentional part of Google’s thinking in the launch of Instant?

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