Judging the Instant Effect on SEM and SEO


searchADOTAS – SEO tool maker Searchmetrics says Google Instant was a logical next step after the search giant began displaying keyword suggestions in a drop down menu as the user is typing. Introduced last week, the service simply begins streaming popular results, attempting the next leap in reading minds. It’s not search as you type, but search before you type, basing completions off of popular searches. Last week, Sarah Novotny claimed big G wants to own your brain!

Of course marketers are less concerned about mind ownership than Instant’s effect on search marketing. On the paid front, impressions start to count if a user clicks on a certain search or pauses for three seconds on a search.

But has Google effectively killed SEO? The company noted on its Analytics blog that users should expect fluctuations in traffic for organic keywords — some drastic — but no, said Google Webspam head Matt Cutts, SEO is still alive and well. Although search results won’t change, users may adjust how they go about searching, he wrote on his blog.

“Search remains search,” Marisa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, told TechCrunch. “The ranking remain stable. For people that have optimized their site to achieve a certain outcome, that’s still the outcome when users run queries. ”

Definitely don’t change your paid search or SEO strategy to include partial queries, Google Analytics team member Alden DeSoto told PCMag.com, noting that paid ads will be served based on predicted queries, not a couple of typed-in letters.

According to Searchmetrics CEO Dr. Horst Joepen, the likely effect of Instant on SEO is more traffic driven to the most popular and most searched sites, keywords or search phrases. And of course, that will simply make the most expensive PPC keywords more so — and more bucks for Google. The long tail is in danger of becoming even shorter as searchers looking for more complicated search phrases will be distracted mid-query.

Lead generator Response Mine further notes that Instant pushes both organic and paid results down the page, thoroughly limiting the number of results above the fold. SEO pros will have to re-evaluate the weight of one keyword position versus the effort required.

“The true impact of Google Instant on SEM and SEO still remains to be seen, but as it stands, this change will fundamentally rock the search community,” Response Mine wrote. “With that said, search is still very much alive. Those that can identify and adjust to these changes will flourish in the next evolution of search.”


  1. I read recently that some people observed that this is really pretty much a derivative technology from something Apple had years back. It was a really interesting analysis. Not being an Apple guy nor a techy in general I had no idea this is a bit of a derivative technology. Maybe a study of some of the earlier applications will give us an idea of what type of impact Google instant will have in the Google SEO world.

  2. The worst thing I’ve encountered is that I can see through Google Analytics that visitors are coming to my site via natural search, but I can’t see what keywords they used…. This is really frustrating – bring back the old version!


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