Out-Googling Google Instant


outgoogle_smallADOTAS – In the short time since Google Instant’s introduction in the U.S., the technology has received quite a reception from marketers – some has been positive, some negative, but largely the response has been perplexity: “So what does this mean for my SEO programs?”

The official word from Google is that there has been no change to the underlying algorithm behind the search engine. However, now only the top three to four results show up above the fold and do so instantaneously.

This makes time and internet real estate more valuable than ever before and it also drastically changes the way users will search on Google. Although it will take some time before we know exactly how online marketing programs should adjust, there are ways marketers can easily get a step ahead of the game.

Whether playing by Instant’s rules or those that come out of the next search engine evolution, content curation is the best bet to get in front of them all. When curating content from around the web, it can be regularly updated so that engines crawl it more often than static pages and automatically tagged so relevant keywords receive SEO benefits.

This ensures that, regardless of minor tweaks or significant changes, your company shows up at the top of users’ searches.

Looking at the Long Tail

Because results show up immediately with each keystroke, Google Instant actually mitigates the need for users to enter longer search strings. As results now appear with each keystroke, users immediately see if their query is bringing up the desired results and if not, they can continue typing and narrowing the search until the material they seek appears in those coveted top spots.

Even as the user is typing, Google Instant shows the longtail, making it more important—a development that gives less advanced online marketers or those in more niche markets a chance to show up in the coveted top half of the screen.

Take, for example, the consumer who is conducting a search on green data centers. As he types “g” into the search box, the query is still very, very broad. But as he enters just a few more characters to add the rest of the word “green”, the results narrow, and as the word “data “ is added , he is getting even closer to what sites he wants. As he continues on to specify “centers” on his search, Google Instant suggests that he search for “green data center news.”

As the user clicks on the suggestions, one of the top sites to appear on the results is Greendatacenternews.org, a news portal that provides the user with in-depth information on the green data center industry.

Optimizing the Longtail Through Curation

Because users now have the ability to adjust their queries mid-search based on results, there are more terms marketers must optimize. The keywords that are tangentially related to your brand or industry will play a more important role than ever as a result.

To optimize for all of these terms manually would be time consuming, frustrating and near impossible. Even before the introduction of Google Instant, marketers learned they can automate this process using content curation, and changes to Google will only hasten the rate of curation adoption.

Content curation quickly and easily provides marketers with voluminous amounts of fresh content for their sites, and with it, a much wider breadth of terms to capture the attention of Google crawlers. When curated daily, the crawler receives the fresh content it needs to index the site and its subpages, while the marketer earns the SEO value and higher search result.

The content can also all be tagged, which improves SEO not only for core industry keywords, but also those ever-more-important long-tail terms. Some systems can even automatically tag the content and create sub-pages for each industry topic, thus giving Google even more indexed pages to crawl. With time and the addition of more material, these sub-pages become just as valuable — from an SEO perspective — as home pages themselves.

To put it in context, consider that I’m the CMO of an eco-friendly printer company. When I start curating content about the green printing industry, every relevant article about the topic is now linked back to my site. As my library builds, all of the companies, individuals, and trends are tagged, their own subpages are automatically created, and they are indexed by Google.

So in a few months when a CIO does a search to see what “green IT analyst Christopher Mines” recommends for eco-friendly computer printers for his company, my subpage on Mines — who, let’s say, has never even covered my company or has any formal link to it — will appear at the top of the CIO’s results.

Support Strategy With Technology

Rather than consistently trying to outsmart Google, marketers need to stay ahead of its evolution. The marketers can—and should—focus efforts on larger marketing strategy, not the tactical and often futile work of mastering the ideal keyword combinations.

Content curation is the best strategy to serve the long tail needs in a way that never could be realized with a traditional keyword strategy, yet its implementation is very tactical. In fact, once a strategy for curation is put in place, technology can handle the heavy lifting required to see tangible SEO value.

In less than 20 minutes a day and with a few mouse clicks, curation solutions can automatically aggregate, organize, tag and share content, and that is the smartest and simplest way to out-Google Google.


  1. I am very hesitant to believe that tricking Google is any sort of a sustainable SEO tactic. Publishing (or curating) others content on my site to raise in the rankings is a flimsy practice that should be replaced with creating your own remarkable content.


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