Google Instant – “The Death of SEO” or SEO Reborn?

by seoibiza on 8, September, 2010

So Google’s latest bombshell today is truly heavy artillery. Today we can see the true power underneath the hood of Caffeine, and it’s pretty impressive, and once everybody’s used to it it may well change the face of search as we know it…

Or, it may push lots of users away to the new Bing / Yahoo combo, only time will tell.

Presenting Google “Instant”

Basically what it is doing, is taking the predictive “guessing” of your search queries that you see sometimes in the query box, and immediately showing the results for at as you are still typing the query.

It has pretty big implications for webmasters and SEOs and there have been the usual  lame linkbait attempts “SEO is now irrelevant” that sort of nonsense, through to the more innovative individuals immediately wondering how to get ahead of everyone else. .

“Of course SEO isnt dead, we can now rank for letters :)

From the Google webmaster’s blog

Webmasters, you may notice some changes in you Search queries data due to the launch of Google Instant. With Google Instant, the page updates dynamically to show results for the top completion of what the user has typed, so this means people could be seeing and visiting your website much faster than before, and often without clicking the search button or hitting “enter.”

While the presentation of the search results may change, our most important advice to webmasters remains the same: Users want to visit pages with compelling content and a great user experience.

With Google Instant, you may notice an increase in impressions because your site will appear in search results as users type.

Impressions are measured in three ways with Google Instant:

  1. Your site is displayed in search results as a response to a user’s completed query (e.g. by pressing “enter” or selecting a term from autocomplete). This is the traditional model.With Google Instant, we also measure impressions in these new cases:
  2. The user begins to type a term on Google and clicks on a link on the page, such as a search result, ad, or a related search.
  3. The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds.

To give an example, let’s say your site has lots of impressions for [hotels] and [hotels in santa cruz]. Now, because Instant is quickly fetching results as the user types, the user could see your site in the search results for [hotels] after typing only the partial query [hote]. If a user types partial query [hotel] and then clicks on any result on the page for [hotels], that counts as an impression for your site. That impression will appear in Webmaster Tools for the query [hotels]. The term ‘hotels’ would also be included in the HTTP referrer when the user clicks through to visit your website.

It’s likely that your site will still see impressions for queries like [hotels in santa cruz], but because Instant is helping the user find results faster, your site may see an increase in impressions for shorter terms as well.

We think it’s a little early to tell the overall effects, only time, observation, testing and stats will give a clearer picture as to the implications, however it’s clear SEOs have a whole lot more to think about going forwards than we did even just yesterday.

Nothing new there then..

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