Google revealed it’s new dynamic search engine interface yesterday which gives live results as you type: have a play with ‘Google Instant’ here
There’s been quite a stir about Google Instant, some people saying it’s just AutoComplete with bells and whistles, other people concerned about how it’ll effect Adwords and even some tabloids saying it’s something that’s a complete waste of effort. Again if you aren’t already playing with it you can find Google Instant on this link.
Long Tail Search Terms
Google’s Auto-Complete software predicts what you may be searching for before you search for it based on previous searches and current trends. Google Instant uses AutoComplete in an obtrusive way which channels users into a generic search term before they type in actually what they wanted to search for. This reason and the fact that relevant results will appear before you end your search query will mean that long-tail search terms will be a lot less commonly searched for.
If you were searching for “Holidays in Spain” for example then holiday website will appear before you even manage to type the word “Holiday” in even! A searcher may just click on the top result and search for Spanish holidays within the holiday website instead of on Google.
Really long-tail search results may never get a look in as the results appear before-hand; some SEO performers currently rely solely on long tail search results (mainly for product names) so Google Instant can really hit them hard.
How’s Google Instant going to effect your Adwords Campaign? For starters if you pay for impressions instead of clicks then the number of impressions you receive will fling up; if you advertise “Chocolate” for example then your advert could appear when someone starts typing in C…H…O… for “Cholesterol” for example!!
Talk about un-targeted traffic too, people typing in “Cholesterol” will (possibly) be people who never want to buy Chocolate and waste your Adwords PPC budget.
Results Under Position #4/#5
Take a look at the results page no for Google Instant below:
The AutoComplete section pushes results further down the page meaning that only the top 2-5 results actually get shown above the fold (depending on the number of ads and monitor resolution). If you appear in the latter half of the results then there is even less reason for people to look/scroll down to see your result this will shift click through percentages and promote further websites with the top SEO work performed.
Personalised results could be the curse of SEO workers in the far future, luckily it's a minor issue currently but Google Instant may have a big impact on it.
Using services such as GMail makes you sign into a Google Account and Google records which searches you make in it's search engine. If you're logged in to any Google service then expect to find your favorite or most visited website appearing higher and higher in the search results. Also local search listings get promoted through personalised results even if you are not signed into a Google account (your location is given away by your ip address).
Google instant may suggest more personal suggestions for AutoComplete plus it will show more personalised results in actual searches, this could create a flurry of more targeted keywords and randomised results. In the end this would spread out traffic across many sites, not just the site which is number 1 for a niche's top keyword. Some giants in the search engine results could see traffic levels dwindle as Google's search become more complex, targeted and personalised which may not be a bad thing for most people but devastating for some large businesses.
Does your company or brand have a rude word in front of it? Google Instant hides any rude words which in turn can hide your website from live results.
For example the car company called "fuccillo" doesn't appear when you start typing in the word but only when you get as far as "FUCC" for obvious reasons. This shouldn't effect things for most people but I can see one or two complaints about it!
Google have a big challenge ahead of them and I can see massive changes to how Google Instant works in the future.
SEO performers will have an even bigger task winning traffic what with skewed results, less long tail searches and more competitive common key-phrases to optimise for.
If Google switch over their main search to Google Instant then it WILL have an effect on Adwords users and they'll be law-suits flying around like crazy, watch this space...