Google Instant Search - My Instant Reaction
I write this while traveling to the east coast to meet with some great clients. During my travels and on-site meetings, the news of Google Instant flooded my Inbox, twitter stream, Google Reader and just about every medium in between.
In between meetings, I was asked to weigh in on the topic by co-workers, peers and clients. Since my response has been the same throughout, I thought it might be worthwhile to share my thoughts (and the general sentiments of Three Deep as well) in this space.
From what we’ve seen, Google Instant is a "game-changer" in many ways; mostly positive. The biggest point of notoriety is that is leads searchers toward finding the intent of their query faster, which ultimately leads to more people visiting Google.com to conduct a search. This is an excellent advancement for Google and only solidifies their position as the best experience in Internet search.
From a search marketing perspective, there is no doubt that it may cause some odd fluctuations in the number of impressions that Google AdWords PPC ads will see, and this will likely be dependent on the nature of these keywords. For example, short (1-2 words) queries may see more impressions at first, but they may see a decrease in click thru rate (CTR) and overall conversions. Longer queries (3+ words) may also see more impressions, while seeing an increase in overall clicks and conversions due to increased relevancy.
Until we have a solid amount of data to reflect on this change, all we can do is speculate. The next week will really indicate how much of a change we can expect.
From an Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective, we think it cements Google’s position as the front-runner and thought leader for Internet search technology. It also validates our approach to SEO, which involves 1) optimizing the website to best match the rules defined by Google and 2) work with our clients to create great content that the search engines will find relevant.
We will be monitoring how this affects the search traffic for hundreds of the sites we work with and will do our best to let you know how this might change site traffic and our approach to search.
I would say that while things will certainly change as a result of this major update, I don’t think it will be as drastic as the pundits predict, and I do find that the irrelevancy of the results for my first keyword more frustrating than helpful!
What have been your thoughts on Google Instant to this point? Is it just a really cool buzz generator, or will it change the way you use Internet search?