THE industry buzz around Google Instant – which throws up suggested search terms as users type in their query – is becoming increasing sceptical. The growing consensus is that it’s designed to drive people into selecting the most popular – and therefore most expensive – search terms.

Research by Dr. Siddharth Shah, Director, Business Analytics at Efficient Frontier, shows that: “Of the 26 letters in the alphabet, 21 have brands as the first suggestions. Further, most of the other suggestions have brands too! If we are to accept Google’s statement about the logic behind Google Instant’s suggestions, most of us are searching for brands all the time.”

Matthew Varley from Wotif.com last week said despite suggestions Google Instant would broaden consumer search “we are not seeing that at the moment” and it’s resulting in “more hits for the ‘head’ (popular search terms) and more money for Google.”

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