Google Instant, what is it all about and how it affects SEO

Google Instant:
Some people are screaming the death of SEO, others are saying it will make no difference. Some love it, some find it like an annoying friend trying to finish your sentences. It’s still early days so most is speculation for now but below is some basic info and theories on how it may affect SEO.
What is it:
SERPs change depending on what you are typing. Sometimes you’ll have the information before you have even finished typing the full query. It was all made to speed up “googling” time.
What has changed:
Search results and the general ranking algorithm will work in the same way as before. The way ad impressions are measured will be calculated differently also. The main effect of Instant is the way search results are displayed and how users will now search for terms.
Will it change how people search:
Most likely yes in the future. Matt Cutts, Google guru, predicts people will learn how to search differently over time. As people search for something, they may see something interesting in the suggestive terms box, begin typing that in and looking at results, flipping back and forth between terms, refining or generalising their search query on the fly. As data is collected from Google Analytics we’ll be able to be more precise on how Instant affects traffic for keywords, allowing us to get a better understanding of how people will be searching.
How it impacts SEO:
Due to the SERPs changing as you type and offering a wealth of information without even the need to click or scroll anywhere it may become less likely that people will click to the second or third results pages, etc. There is speculation that the top 10 search results will become even more valuable with Google Instant while reducing the value of results further down.
Contrasting theories are already popping up, Rand Fishkin from Seomoz predicts long tail keywords will become less important and Google is heading strongly towards favouring brand names. Others predict that as people can type on the fly they will continue typing until they see what they want at the top of the SERP.
Ad impressions are now counted in 3 different ways
  • -User begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (search result, an ad, spell   correction, etc)
  • -User chooses a particular query by clicking Search or pressing Enter
  • -User stops typing and the current SERP is displayed for minimum 3 seconds.

 

Google say Instant might increase or decrease overall impression levels, however they feel ads will be more targeted and will improve the quality of clicks.
As said earlier, it is still early days and while the SEO world eagerly awaits Analytics data to come through, all we can do for now is speculate. Only time will tell how much this new feature will affect SEO techniques. 

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