What is Google Instant and what does it mean for SEO?

Google Instant is a new feature released in the USA yesterday which shows search results as you are typing. Google Instant will be rolled out to other countries and is also being used if you are logged In to one of Google’s applications.

The claim to fame of Google Instant is you receive search results 2-5 seconds faster. This done by predictive text and not having to hit the search button or enter key.

What does Google instant mean for your SEO and AdWords strategy?

This answer really depends on whether Google Instant becomes a default feature or advanced option. If Google Instant becomes a default feature the value of being ranked in the top 3 will increase exponentially, together with the value of being ranked highly in natural search for generic and popular key phrases.

Fast search results, means why would you bother scrolling down the page or even thinking about the second page. Bigger brands also benefit due to being ranked first in the predictive text.

When it comes to AdWords, it is easy to see that Google Instant could increase the cost per click, as there are higher bids on fewer keywords, plus the quality score drops with more impressions. The commercial motivation for Google with Instant is clear:

A)     increase the cost of their AdWords traffic,
B)     increase the percentage of traffic which becomes paid revenue, and reduce the lost revenue in organic search.

The historical statistic of 80% of Google’s traffic being generated from organic traffic just demonstrates the immense value available from SEO.

One thing is clear you cannot afford to sit still with your online strategy. The Google game never stops changing and Instant is yet another example of where your business can get ahead by being the first to react to this latest innovation.

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