Google Instant Search and How Does It Affect SEO?

Google’s announcement of it’s new instant search technology today is the biggest change in search since the advent of search engines themselves. Why?

Changing The Way We Search In An Instant

Well primarily it will change the way that people search, the search process itself will become more dynamic with users changing their search words as they input. Enabling them to focus the instant search results on what they were looking for far quicker, and removing the cycle of typing and click (or return) that has frustrated searchers since these tools first appeared.

Is it a ‘Bing Killer’?
Well perhaps not but other search engines will need to replicate this concept in some form or be left behind as slow and cumbersome.

Instant Search = Predictive Search Input

The new instant search works much like a predictive text input on a mobile, with suggested text and more importantly, results being presented as you type your search phrase. Helping you see whether what you are typing will lead you to the right sort of results for what you are looking for. The effect is that Google appears to be guessing what you are searching for as you do it!

The key benefit for users is that you no longer have to wait and then wade through results if you can clearly see you are not getting results that match your expectations, saving you time and therefore delivering a better search experience.

Instant Search is initially only available in the US on the http://www.google.com site, but will roll out throughout the rest of the world starting with the UK and Europe. For UK users, here you can test out Instant Search

So How Do I SEO For Instant Search

Well to start with, you don’t need to change anything, Google’s results will still be pulled from the same website data they always have and the prediction element is purely based on existing ranking information.

Over time expect to see instant search SEO with companies offering enhanced search optimisation focused specifically on getting your site to appear in the dynamic results with the least amount of effort from the user targeted on key search phrases. This will require analysis of propensity of words to appear in Instant Search phrases as letters are typed and is certainly likely to force web marketeers to refocus on shorter and part phrases, against the recent growth of the ‘Long Tail’ search optimisation and relevance generally.

At e-mphasis, we plan to keep you posted, so if you haven’t already, why not subscribe to our blog 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Google Instant Search and How Does It Affect SEO?

  1. All additional search content, e.g images, videos, news, blogs and local results are unaffected as far as the results are concerned in that they still appear however it does mean that users will see results that match the least text first.

  2. This is fascinating. I am not sure I like it jumping to conclusions about what I am looking for. I’ve spent years trying to figure out how to phrase my searches so I get decent results!!! Love the comparison to predictive text too… Will watch the stories on this development unfold!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I would suggest that Google instants is the predictive version of caffine, both versions of which now have changed the way companies have to “SEO” their site/product and/or service.

    With interest and a little bias I would suggest that this is a good thing. On one hand we already know that search patterns seem to be preferring social oriented stuff but on the other there are/is still relevant content in “web 1” sites that need to be found.

    The world would be a less richer place if this content is not found, so to make it harder for “black hatting” sales sites to the top is a good thing in my book.

    I think if we take into consideration what is, potentially predictable, coming over the next 18 months, couple that with Googles desire to keep modifying the search method, being found with intent will be a busy game to play.

    With interest but by no means connected, I wrote a blog this morning on in ineffectiveness of “carpet bombing hollow rhetoric”, so both that method and the more traditional method of SEO (although not associated themselves) would appear to be under threat when it comes to find-ability.

    Good stuff Andrew.

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