The latest Google innovation is the release of Google Instant search results. I have heard reactions such as “it’s the death of SEO” to “we will have to SEO for letters and syllables now”. Come on people. Is it really going to have that much of an impact?
If you do not know what Google Instant is yet, just go do a search. You will notice that Google will start populating the search results as you type. This is similar to the Google Suggest” feature they recently added, but taken one step further.
The death of SEO? This makes me laugh when I hear it. If I am searching for “the best hot dog stand in NY city” Do you really think that I will stop typing when the search results show hotels? No, I will continue typing until the results I am looking for show on the page.
All the search engine is doing is using it’s existing data to populate the results with the most common terms that are searched, the same way that the suggest feature does. People who are looking for something specific are still going to keep searching until they find what they are looking for.
Yes, it may mean that you have to do a bit more work on shorter-term keyword phrases, but remember that Google still is going to use the local search and every other feature they have added in the past when delivering their results to their customers. If I live in Toronto, and I do a search, they are still going to show me Toronto based businesses first in the results. This has not changed. So if I am looking for that hot dog stand in Toronto, even though it is populating the SERP for hot dog stands as I type, the Toronto results will still be shown to me first.
The only place I believe there might be an impact is in the amount people will spend on Adwords. The unrelated pages that are shown as you type will have Adwords ads on them and they will be counted as impressions for the advertisers. This may mean that your CTR will be greatly effected and if you are paying for impressions rather than clicks, your bills will either skyrocket, or your impressions will be shown to totally untargeted traffic.
If I had an Adwords campaign going for hotels, and I suddenly was paying for ads to people searching for hot pants, hot dogs and hot babes, I think I would be a little ticked! I am not sure yet how Google plans to remedy this. You can bet they will rake in the dough until they do.
So, my suggestion is to keep doing what your have always done to SEO your pages. Organic search will not really be effected by this latest addition of Google Instant, but keep a close eye on your paid advertising campaigns.