2016: This is an old post. Enjoy it, but be aware that it is old.
See what I did there? I wrote a deliberately provocative title for my blog post. The fact that it’s not true is beside the point; this cheeky little click bait title it might just generate a little buzz and get me a few fresh eyeballs and that’s what counts, right?
What is Google Instant?
Google instant is the latest innovation which the Google folk call ‘Search at the speed of thought’. It can save you 2-5 seconds (whooop!) every time you search. Basically it’s just an extension of the Google suggestions box using the current top suggestions to give immediate search results for that keyword.
Previously Google’s suggested search terms and did not reveal results until the “enter” key was hit or the “search” button was clicked. Now it all happens as you type.
The service will initially be rolled out in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, France and Russia.
Watch the Google Instant video:
Why should you care?
The average web site gets 61 percent of its traffic from organic (nonpaid) search engine results, and 41 percent of all that traffic comes from Google alone. So, unsurprisingly, the news of Google Instant’s launch has sent shock waves through the geeky world of SEO consultants. But is there any reason for all the hullabaloo?
Don’t panic and carry on
I don’t think Google Instant will ‘kill’ SEO. We might have to learn a few more tricks but, in reality, Google has been fiddling around with its methodology, algorithm and delivery since it’s inception. At each new development, the SEO community works out ways to cope and carries on. Some points to consider:
- Annoyance factor – Just like predictive text function on my mobile, I found Google Instant pretty annoying after a few attempts. It can be switched off with a simple click.
- Patience please – Google isn’t going to give you what you want until you’ve finished at least the first word, up until then it doesn’t know what you want. Often, single word searches don’t always give you what you want, so you’ll probably have to keep typing a second word anyway. For example, instead of just typing ‘copywriter’ (giving you results from all over Australia) aren’t you more likely to type ‘Copywriter Sydney’?
- Touch typers only – Unless you’re a touch-typer then Google Instant is pretty useless. You can’t look at the keys and the instant results at the same time.
- Unique searches – Approximately 20% of Google searches are considered unique so with such unpredictable searches, the creation of an all-consuming keyword suggestion list is impossible.
- Mobile magic – Google Instant will have most value for mobile users with fiddly little keyboards.
- A word beginning with ‘a’ – Some SEO’s are worried that they’re now going to have to try and make their clients rank for individual letters. Just silly if you think about it. If you’re looking for a ‘copywriter’ would you seriously expect it to come up just by typing ‘c’?
- It’s the same algorithm – Google Instant uses the same material to provide results as ‘normal’ Google. They make it all pretty clear in their FAQs
Q: Does this (Google Instant) change impact the ranking of search results?
A: No, this (Google Instant) change does not impact the ranking of search results.
I don’t think I’m going to get my knickers in a twist about Google Instant just yet. I reckon as long as your site is technically sound and you produce interesting, solid quality content, you shouldn’t notice a negative effect from Google Instant. But time will tell.
Did you like this post?
You might like my book ‘Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur | How to succeed despite yourself’ – buy it online here.
Want to have a chat?
If you need a Copywriter, SEO Consultant or Information Architect, then please contact me.