Is Google Instant Like All Things Instant?

Google Instant AfroInstant coffee, pancakes and oatmeal never really hit the spot with me, unless I just happen to be backpacking or camping. So ,what about Google Instant? Is it good to go? Or, does it only perform well in a specific instance?

Google Instant

Basically, Google Instant represents searching while typing. Search engine result pages (SERP) are dynamically displayed WHILE keying-in search queries. Google even tries to help you complete the search query by predicting it (denoted in light gray text).

The prediction is essentially based on historical search volume, returning the most likely terms you are searching for.

Watch the video below to learn more about Google Instant.

What does this mean for SEOs, webmasters, website owners and bloggers?

According to Google; when checking analytics you might notice an increase in impressions. It only makes sense, displaying results while typing will do that. They also noted that now (post Google Instant) they are measuring impressions in 3 ways. Great, just what we needed – more metrics to keep tabs on. 🙂

Aaron Wall of SEOBook brought up some interesting points, and thinks that Google Instant consolidates search volume into smaller buckets of keywords. I tend to agree with this, as long as the smaller buckets are representative of relative results. Otherwise, the searcher will more than likely go for the long-tail term because it is actually the most relevant.

Graywolf’s description of Google Instant:

They think they know you so well that they can guess what you want without being told.

He goes on to mention that it really doesn’t solve any type of relevancy/understanding problem, but it could (on the PPC side of the equation) ensure high dollar value advertising will almost always show first.

Think about it, we all know that one keyword or a two-word keyphrase takes a lot more coin for clicks versus that nicely converting, low cost-per-click (CPC) three and four-word keyphrase.

What’s It Really Mean, Man?

For starters, it means you better have an SEO that pays attention. 😉 If ranking positions and traffic for you website or blog start to slide because of Google Instant, SEO strategy will need to be adjusted.

It seems, that the general consensus finds Google Instant annoying and somewhat distracting. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Google change the presentation of Google Instant before speculating on pulling the plug.

Key Google Instant Takeaways

  • Google Instant allows for increased Sponsored Results real estate by pushing organic results further down the page. This could lead to lower click-through-ratios (CTRs) on organic listings, which equates to less organic traffic for your website.
  • More exposure for PPC campaigns that are based-on highly competitive one and two-word keyphrases, in addition to expanded screen real estate – which could bump PPC CTRs up.
  • Potential to disrupt long tail targeting – given relevant short tail results are served. If more people click on shorter, predicted results – focusing on longer keyphrases would become less important.
  • Could cause some searchers to switch search engines unless visual presentation is improved or Google Instant is disabled.

Despite seeming somewhat annoying, I plan on continuing to use Google. The reason is simple – the results are the most relevant.

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