Sep 082010

In my last post I talked about Google Instant and how an instant search engine changes the game for internet search.  While Google Instant is an internet revolution, I think most people (including Google) may miss the opportunity that this new technology has created.  Google has a business opportunity here and I really hope they take it!

After watching the demo video in my last post you should know by now that pressing “w” in the search window will bring up the local weather based on your ip address.

Let’s try a few more one letter searches:

Google Instant search d

Google Instant Search X

As you can see from these examples one letter can be the gateway to an application, like the lookup box, a service like Netflix, or even a product like the Xbox.  Suddenly, you don’t have to go out and buy to be first in the X list, you just need proper search placement (dare I say SEO).

Now if you are like me you’ve probably tested out your ABC’s on Google Instant to see what comes up.  You may be asking yourself questions like, “why is ‘w’ weather and not Wikipedia?”, “Why is ‘g’ only Gmail?”  While I trust that Google is placing these results based on their search algorithms I can’t help but thinking “What could Google create if they monetized instant search and one letter shortcuts?”

Imagine a world where all of your favorite internet applications and pages were one letter and one button click away (and forgive me Google for butchering your UI).

Google Instant Icon Monitization

See what I did there?  ICONS!  Why allow one site to hog all of the “f” space?  Google can sell this “icon space” thus allowing companies like Facebook, Flikr, Friend Feed, and even apps like Flash to bid on icon spots much like they currently do for Adsense pay per click ads. This new icon bar could bring in MONSTER revenue for Google.  It could all be done for each company listing in an unobtrusive and attractive 69×69 pixel space.  There would be room for about eight icons in the bar.

Imagine you type the letter “f” and there are all of the popular web pages and apps that start with the letter f.  Google could even take it one step further and reserve this space for only web (or android/chrome) apps thus creating a veritable launch from browser experience!

To go even one step further:  Add in a dose of desktop integration/search and another row of icons, now you can even have your desktop applications and documents included in the mix!  Your whole online and offline world, all accessed through a Google search window.

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