Since the launch of Google Instant on September 8, 2010 I began to wonder what this would do to the current local SEO industry.
Users are now prompted with search results as they type, changing as they add more characters. Longtail web searches made up a very large percentage of the keywords that user’s typed in to find local businesses. Now they are given search results without having to type in long tail terms like “Cleaning Service San Francisco CA”. Now when they begin to find a cleaning service, websites like Merrymaids and Mollymaids appear prior to adding the geographic modifier to the term.
My prediction is that the effect of Google Instant will be larger than most would think. Local service-based businesses will begin to see a decline in long tail search terms, emphasizing the value of top search engine placement.
Even with the search of short tail terms like “Cleaning Service”, searches will be able to see the local search map that is placed into the search results for location based searches, proving the necessity to be listed in the local search maps.
This new search update form Google might also effect the AdWords (PPC) market too. Creating a necessity to advertise under the more expensive, less converting phrases. This will create an increase in revenue for the search giant, one possibility why they made this switch. The amount of impressions is going to rise, lowering your Click Through Rate (CTR). This is what Google had to say regarding how impressions are counted with Google Instant.
How impressions are counted on Google Instant?
When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:
- The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
- The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
- The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.
This “instant” way of searching is nothing new, Yahoo launched a very similar product back in 2005 called Yahoo Instant Search. An ex-Yahoo employee mentions stated that “didn’t have the infrastructure to be able to serve live as-you-type search results to 100% of our users.”
Bing’s “The Real Live Search” was launched last year and gained short-lived fame before being for the most part… forgotten.
Only time will tell the true effects of Google Instant on Search Engine Optimization.