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Google's Search Experiment: Keyboard Shortcuts
23rd November 2008

A few weeks ago I noticed one of Google's search experiments, keyboard shortcuts. I really like this feature and hope it graduates from experiment status however one small thing I noticed is that (at least for me) makes me more willing to click on googles ads. When I did a Google search with no keyboard shortcuts I would just skill over the ads and go straight to the results, but now with keyboard shortcuts turned on the default position of the "cursor" (actually and arrow) is at the top pointing to ads (if there are any). This distracts me to look at the ad and more likely to visit it.

Additionally in the case where the first result is the same as the top add, where I would previously just go straigh to the main link, with shortcuts its easier to just press enter with the cursor on the ad. The two diagrams below show this.

[caption id="attachment_126" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Google search with keyboard shortcuts. Notice that the top ad and the 1st result are (almost) the same. But since its easier to press Enter than J then Enter I am more likely to go to the ad...."]google-keyboard-crop[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_127" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="... however in the classical view I would just click on the 1st regular link with the mouse as its just as easy to click the non-ad vs. the ad."]... however in the classical view since I'm moving the mouse I would just click the non-ad first link.[/caption]

Tags: google.