SEO Effects of Google Instant

Google has been around for some time now, and has constantly delivered new innovative features to it’s search results, such as local results, maps and now the biggest visible change to search results, is Google Instant.

How Will Google Instant Search Effect SEO?

Firstly just to be clear about this, Instant will not effect the results google presents for a given search term, so for example if you were to key in “brown brogue lace up shoes” you would see the same results as before, however, you may now only get as far as typing “brown Brogue” and be presented with results from multiple sites which catch your eye and you click before you have finished typing the whole search string.

How this is likely to effect the average SEO is more around the specific keywords which you optimise for. In the past there has been a focus on long tail keywords, I explain this to clients as the short term goals, i.e. the ones which we can get results for pretty quickly, because they are less competitive, have less searches but can also be very rewarding, as those visitors already know exactly what they are looking for and are often people looking to buy something. Then we have the long term goals, these are usually much shorter keywords and much more competitive, these therefore take longer but will drive much higher traffic volumes to the site, albeit not as focussed as the long tail traffic.

The result of Google Instant results so far are pretty much as expected, higher numbers of visitors are finding what they want before they have finished typing the search string, so short tail keywords searches are increasing, whilst the long-tail are dropping off. There is an exception which I have noticed, this being specific product searches, if someone is looking for a 24 inch dell flat screen monitor, they really still need to include all those terms in the search string, to make sure they find the specific product which they are looking for, as there are too may variables, they could get different sizes, brands and products (such as TV’s) if they omit any element, the people looking for this are also most likely looking to make a purchase too.

The last couple of months has seen numerous blog posts and forum threads asking “does Instant mean the end for SEO”, the answer is obvious…. No of course not. SEO will change, as it has done constantly over the last few years, but surely that’s a good thing if the search engines are able to serve up better results to their users.