There has been a huge amount of discussion amongst SEO professionals and web marketers recently regarding the impact of Google’s latest search engine update, Google Instant. For those of your haven’t heard about it already, Google Instant is Google’s latest way to make searches faster and more targeted by updated the search results as you type, without you having to press enter or click on search. I’m not going to go into too much detail about how it works, that has been talked about plenty of times. What I am going to talk about, is the impact of Google Instant on keywords.
A few SEO bloggers have predicted that long-tail search is now dead. Well, I disagree. Now that search results are updating as you type, being in the top 3 positions is now even more the game than it ever has been. People are now much less likely to scroll down the page to find what they want, and if they don’t find what they want in the first few listings, instead of scrolling down, I’m guessing a large proportion of people will refine their search to get more relevant results.
So what does this mean for keywords?
Well, the whole keyword game is going to change. If users are refining their search phrases as they type, it is highly likely that we will start to see much more obscure key phrases coming through in Google Analytics. Due to this change in the way people search, long tail queries could actually increase, not decrease, however traditional long tail queries which are easy to work into content (i.e. ‘cheap business cards in Melbourne’) are likely to be jumbled up into more meaningless phrases as people refine their searches on the fly i.e. they may type ‘business cards’ followed by ‘Melbourne’, followed by ‘cheap’ to get the results they are looking for. Keywords like this will be hard to work into content, and the keyword research game will most likely change also. Potential traffic data on obscure key phrases like this is not going to come up very high in keyword research tools such as Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, but you’d be naive to think there is no traffic there based on this data.
Whatever the impact of Google Instant, it is important to be on top of the changes and ahead of your competitors. Working with an innovative, forward thinking and highly analytical SEO company is one of the best ways to be ahead of the game.