Google Instant – Everything You Need to Know
Following two teaser doodles, Google’s big news was finally unveiled to the world on the evening of 08/09/10. The launch of Instant Search.
But what does that mean for searchers? For SEO? For businesses?
You’re about to find out, as The FirstFound Blog takes you through everything you need to know about Google Instant.
What Does Google Instant Mean For Searchers?
First of all, you need to know what Google Instant does. In the simplest of terms, it searches as you type (if you’re signed into a Google account).
That means if you’re typing the phrase “Search Engine Consultants“, you’ll see a number of results pages:
- First you’ll see the results for “Search“. This is without hitting enter. You start typing, Google starts showing results.
- These results will then instantly and automatically update to show the results for “Search Engine”
- By the time you’ve typed “Search Engine Cons“, Google’s autosuggest will guess that you want “Search Engine Consultants” and show you that result.
All of this happens in the time it takes you to type. There’s no waiting. Within a second or two, you’ll have seen at least three seperate results pages.
This should make search faster and more intuitive for searchers. Admittedly, it won’t speed things up by more than a few microseconds if you know what you’re going to search for, but Google are claiming that over a day it will save 11 man hours per second. Which will only make a substantial difference for you if you’re making a few billion searches a day.
For at least a few weeks, people will be trying Instant to see what the fuss is about, and they’ll probably enjoy the experience to begin with. After that though, it could well get distracting, but it can be turned off with a few clicks.
In short, as a searcher Google Instant will either save you a few seconds every year, or it won’t do anything because you’re not using it.
What Does Google Instant Mean For SEO?
It means more reading. This Twitter post just about sums it up:
“[phrase1] google instant will [phrase2] SEO”. Dynamic seo blog post title generator for the next week.
Over the next week, or month, lots of people are going to claim lots of things about Google Instant and SEO. But this hasn’t changed the way that Google ranks sites, it’s just made search faster. It’s too early to see what effects (if any) Google Instant will have on SEO, but here are a few of our instant, knee-jerk predictions.
- The Long Tail won’t die. It’ll thrive. The novelty of Google Instant is that the more you type, the more fun it is. So people are just going to keep typing. They won’t put in one generic key phrase and start drilling down, they’ll just keep amending that key phrase until it’s extremely specific.
- Instant won’t kill SEO. It might mean that SEOs have to change the way they do things, and it may mean looking at key phrases differently, but it’s not changed the Google Algorithm. The majority of what we do has no reason to stop working overnight. Besides, if you read some blogs, everything will kill SEO. Nothing’s managed it yet.
- The novelty value could wear off. Google Instant doesn’t offer that many benefits to searchers. It’s not saving much time when people know the phrase they want to search for, and it’s easy to turn off when it becomes distracting. Yahoo! tried a similar thing a few years ago, and it bombed.
What Does Google Instant Mean For Businesses?
It means you’re going to need some sort of SEO, if you don’t have it already. With instant results, people are going to refine their searches more. They’re not going to type “shoes” and then sift through pages and pages of results – they’re going to get more and more specific until they find the results they want. And if the novelty wears off, then a professional SEO campaign will still bring in more business from people using the vanilla Google search.
If you don’t currently have any SEO on your website, give us a call on 0161 909 3400.
Google Instant might not be the game changer we all expected. It’s going to make SEO more relevant to businesses, not less – so it’s probably going to lead to more of the same. It’s too soon to say what it is going to be, but what it isn’t is an SEO killer.