Google’s Golden Egg at Risk?

Here’s a fascinating article by Tom Foremski on Google’s own eye tracking results from trials of its new ‘Google Instant’ search product.

Essentially, after just a couple of characters are entered, some suggested results are presented. The overall aim is to shorten the time people have to search for the sites they want. A glorified and more intelligent ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button.

Unsurprisingly, the results suggest that very little of the ‘heat’ generated by eye movements went to the traditional paid search ads on the right hand side of the page while automated suggestions are presented to the viewer.

With two thirds of it’s overall revenue generated by these ads, what will be the implications of people spending less time seeing and clicking these ads in the future?

Are Google prepared to kill the goose that laid the golden egg?

Or do they have plans to replace this revenue through other paid search models up their sleeves?

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