GOOGLE INSTANT: FRIEND OR FOE OF SEO?

 

What do you think of Google Instant? It s now been a week since Google unveiled this new feature, and it s creating a lot of buzz, even more than Google Buzz did.

In fact, the Internet has been flooded with blog posts and articles about it, critiquing it and predicting how it could affect people s search behavior and Internet Marketing activities like Search Engine Optimization.

But let s back up for a moment and examine what Google Instant is meant to be. According to the Official Google Blog, “Instant takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions—yielding a smarter and faster search that is interactive, predictive and powerful.”

Now, the best way to understand this is to see it in action, so check out this creative video that demonstrates Google Instant with some help from singer Billy Joel:

According to Google, we should be seeing the following core features:

• Dynamic Results – Google dynamically displays relevant search results as you type so you can quickly interact and click through to the web content you need.

• Predictions – One of the key technologies in Google Instant is that we predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing. See what you need? Stop typing, look down and find what you re looking for.

• Scroll to search – Scroll through predictions and see results instantly for each as you arrow down.

Yes, Instant does seem to offer those features, but it also introduces changes that could impact the Internet Marketing business and your tasks as a Virtual Assistant or online business owner.

Google says the primary benefit of Instant is time saved but is it really? It seems like the primary benefit should be relevant results, and initially it seems to take a little longer to search as we train our eyes to scan the results below to see if we need to refine the search terms we re typing. Google is not a mind reader yet; however, Instant may train users to be more thoughtful about the keywords they choose so that the correct results pop up.

Now how does Google Instant affect our Internet Marketing activities? Well, we want those “relevant results” and query predictions to point to our businesses and our clients!

So this is where Google Instant could change businesses SEO strategies, as users change their behavior and lean towards either long tail or short tail keywords. The blog post “Google Launches New Search Interface: Google Instant” predicts that as people spend more time refining keywords, they will ultimately focus more on long tail keywords, thereby creating a shift towards focusing even more on higher rankings for specific long tail keyword phrases.

On the other hand, the blog post “Google Instant: Personalization, The Paradox of Choice and Altered Behavior” argues that Google Instant will create a “bias against extremely long-tail queries,” predicting that users will decide against typing an extremely long query if they want to find the most relevant result for their search. Here the suggestion is made that smaller sites relying on long tail traffic may have to adjust their strategy to target shorter keywords.

Well, the jury is still out, and only time will tell, but this is definitely an opportune time for Virtual Assistants and online professionals to review their Search Engine Optimization strategies and determine how Google Instant affects them. This is where continual learning and updated Internet Marketing skills will serve you well as you catch Google s newest wave and see where it leads your business and marketing activities.

So what do you think of Google Instant? Will it have a profound effect on your business and Search Engine Optimization? We re eager to hear your thoughts, so please post a comment below!