What is Google Instant?
The aim of Google Instant as stated by Google is to ‘help you find things you want faster’, and they do this by showing results as soon as you start typing.
As soon as you start typing, Google is trying to interpret what you want to type and will start showing search results and PPC ads, straight away. As your query changes, so will the results which are displayed.
It is being rolled out over the next couple of days, but not, supposedly, in Australia yet.
What does Google Instant Mean For My Online Business?
In reality, we can’t tell what it means for each particular business until we see some analytics or Adwords data as to the effects. Many people are already saying that this will ruin SEO efforts, but obviously those people don’t understand what SEO is.
This change will not change the way results are ranked, only the search queries people end up typing in.
Some say this change is in favour of the big, strong, websites, who rank for generic terms, and will be bad for smaller, long-tail terms.
However, after using the new interface for a while, and getting only the big, generic sites, perhaps users will quickly learn to use longer, more specific terms again?
Also, depending on how fast you type, and how much you are looking around the screen as you type – maybe you won’t even look at the results until you have finished typing your query.
This change, to me, doesn’t seem to be contributing to a search engine’s goal of providing the most relevant results to a query. It has added a bell/whistle which wasn’t, in my opinion, ever required. I have never heard anyone complain that Google is too slow, or their typing is too slow.
I can’t see that dumbing down search in this way will benefit anyone.
What Will I Tell My Clients About Google Instant
Well – for my clients targetting Australia, I will say “This new functionality is coming out, lucky for you it is targetting foreign users first, so we can see what the results for them are first, and get in early with some preparation before it comes to Australia”.
For my international clients, I will be looking at their data to try and see what the effects actually are, before I recommend any changes to their SEO or PPC strategy.
I will check out;
– Search interface – how does searching for my clients products and particular keywords, appear now in Google? Are there any particular, unique challenges for them?
– Webmaster tools – what search queries am I showing up more/less for?
– Google Analytics – What is the difference between PPC and natural search traffic now? What keywords are standing out as being influenced by these changes. Compare to the previous day, the same day last week, the same day last year.
– Google Adwords – How are impressions changing? What keywords are getting more/less impressions now? Are conversion rates changing or staying the same on them?
Once I know what effect the change is having on impressions and clicks I can start developing a strategy, and deciding whether I need to change my SEO focus to shorter terms (as everyone predicts, but not confirmed), or something totally unexpected.