As the self-appointed leader in all things internet, Google has fallen into the trap of innovation for innovation’s sake. Like a fussy middle-aged housewife who constantly fiddles around with the ornaments on her mantelpiece for no apparent reason, Google re-vamped its search engine despite it being perfect. First off, the ‘pages from the UK’ button appears and disappears at will, leaving you to wade through pages of stuff priced in dollars and spelt wrongly before you find what you were looking for.

Most frustrating, though, is the new ‘Instant Search’ feature. For a time now, most search engines have had a search predictor, which scans what you type and offers suggestions. Fine, as you can ignore the suggestions if they’re wrong or you want to type the damn thing in yourself. Google has gone a completely unnecessary step further in automatically searching for what you have typed in even before you finish.

All this does is remove the need to hit the ‘enter’ key and so saves you so little time as makes no difference. It is, however, incredibly annoying: The whole page convulses and flashes horribly while it is trying to second guess what you want, the only upside being a smug feeling of satisfaction when it gets its wrong.

Google Instant Search is like a hyperactive child in the backseat during a long car journey; overly impatient in wanting to get to the destination and being so annoying that all you want to do is turn round in your seat and punch it squarely in the face. It is also doesn’t seem to like certain words.

Try typing, for example, “convulses”; you just get a blank screen instead of a page of related results. To make it search, you have to press ‘enter’ , which would appear to defeat the whole purpose of the thing in the first place.

This is perhaps some glimpse of a horrifying future in which Google has taken over every aspect of our lives and only allows use to search for stuff that is on a pre-approved list of ‘Googlespeak’ words. You only need to look at Facebook to know that constant innovation and redesigning of an essentially basic but functional site makes for one that is too complicated, looks shit, and worse, doesn’t work.  Take heed, Google, take heed.


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