With some contrarians still complaining about how Google Instant is too creepy (and likely that cars are too shiny and fast…), Google is still trying to publicly validate their decision. Google engineer Ben Gomes released a stat claiming that nearly 98% of users are using Google Instant, meaning that less than 3% of users have opted out.
Here’s the problem with this stat. Opt-out stats are always misleading. Because opting-out requires work. If you had to opt-in to Google Instant, it’s not farfetched to believe that only 3% of users would currently be using it. Not kidding. Check out the organ donation volunteer rates around the world. Those who require you to opt-in, 20%. Those who require you to opt-out, 80%.
Never mistake user laziness for user interest. Here’s the real benefit of Google Instant. Google users now type in 5% characters and reach their search results 10% faster. That’s the PR story. That’s what you should tout, Google.