Late last week, Google introduced a new search technology that immediately changed organic search marketing. Google Instant is a major leap forward in predictive search functionality, going beyond suggesting search terms to streaming results as users enter each letter of their keywords. Google Instant allows users to search as they type; Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Search Products, described it as “search before you type.”
Google Instant increases the challenges for SEO. Users now see results as they enter each letter of their keyword, and the results can change with each successive letter entered. Previously, users entered their keywords and then clicked the SEARCH button to see results. Every user that entered similar keywords received the same results, and the rankings were the same. Google Instant provides feedback to users as they type, enabling them to modify their searches on the fly. Each searcher will now see different results for similar keywords. Continuously modifying keywords means that users will no longer see the same results, and increases the complexity of optimizing pages for specific keywords.
Google Instant will also increase competition for ranking on the first page. Users can now scan the streaming results to determine if their keywords will return the information they want. Rather than viewing a few pages of results before making this decision, users simply scan the top of the first page to decide if the results meet their needs. Pages ranked in the top positions will be all that some users consider, and competition for these positions will increase significantly.
Trellist continues to monitor Google Instant, along with industry analysis and commentary on it, to enable us to help our clients compete more effectively within this new search technology. The question that all marketers must ask is, are they ready for Google Instant?