Over the past month I’ve been browsing the web to find relevant information on how SEO and SEM will change with the introduction of Google Instant Search. So far I’ve only managed to find speculative articles with little or no background. However, they all have one thing in common, the SEO and SEM playground is changing.
As Google Instant Search streams the results even before you complete the search query, the currently practiced SEO techniques become somewhat irrelevant and obsolete.
From a user’s point of view, Google Instant Search is the great time saver because it essentially reduces the search time for 2 to 5 seconds with the real-time display of results as each letter is typed because people simultaneously enter the search query and scan the results. According to Google, on a global level the Instant Search saves more than 11 hours every second.
How Google Instant Search changes SEO?
From a SEO strategist’s point view it is more important than ever to focus on the first 3 positions in the organic search ranking. According to SEO Book, when Google includes 4 AdWords ads only 50% of web browsers get to see the full 2nd organic listing, while only 20% get to see the full 4th organic listing. So, it is clear how big the implications are from the introduction of Google Instant Search.
Even, Matt Cutts himself addressed this issue saying that SEO still remains the key to get to top of the organic search results. However, SEO will change over time as people’s search behavior changes. OK, this is not something we are not aware of.
Does this diplomatic answer by Matt Cutts mean that not even Google knows how Google Instant Search impacts SEO?
Here is Marissa Mayer’s (Vice President of Search Products and User Experience in Google) explanation on Google Instant Search.
How Google Instant Search changes SEM?
Not only that the organic search results change but the ads also change as you type. So, the big question here is how impressions will be measured?
As presented on the image above it is clear that the ads are changing as you type more letters/words into your search query.
According to Google AdWords help:
- The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
- The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
- The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.
OK, so I think this is fair, at least this will signal us which keywords that are not included in our campaigns generate clicks. So, in the long term the Instant Search will definitely help with the optimization of the Google AdWords campaigns.
Have you noticed any differences in how visitors get to your websites in the past month? Looking forward to your comments!