Don’t know what Google Instant is? In short geek terms it is “SERP while typing” while in general terms it is simply giving you your Google results before you hit the ENTER key. If it isn’t working for you yet, it will be what Google is from this point on, so just go to Google to try it.
Now that you know what it is, let’s get back to the speculation.
Q: Does Google Instant kill SEO?
A: No. It does not kill Search Engine Optimization, but it definitely changes things. According to Matt Cutts (Google Search Quality Group who occasionally addresses concerns) who commented on how Instant changes SEO:
I think over time it might. The search results will remain the same for a query, but it’s possible that people will learn to search differently over time. For example, I was recently researching a congressperson. With Google Instant, it was more visible to me that this congressperson had proposed an energy plan, so I refined my search to learn more, and quickly found myself reading a post on the congressperson’s blog that had been on page 2 of the search results.
And what Matt is talking about leads us into the conversation around short and long tail search changes. If you’re not familiar with that, Short Tail is a query like “Toyota Camry” while long tail is a query like “2006 Toyota Camry LE Automatic Power Window Regulator” – it is a difference in how specific the query is.
Q: Does Google Instant Kill Long-tail Search?
A: It is too early to tell, but there will more than likely be some behavior changes in how people use Google. You can join a discussion on whether Google Instant kills long tail search on the forums.
Personally, I think Google Instant is going to make people more efficient in searching for things. I think, with time, people are going to be doing multiple searches for things when they’re not just using Google as a phone book or a replacement for their address bar in the browser.
Q: Does Google Instant kill Pay Per Click (PPC, SEM, Paid Search, etc)?
A: No. Absolutely NO. Where do you think Google gets a huge chunk of their money from? If anything, it increases the relevancy of PPC ads just as much as it increases the relevancy of the organic results.
Q: How do I better prepare my website for Google Instant?
A: There is no secret formula to it. Even if there is a secret formula to it, Google will change things later to close that hole. They’ve been doing that since day one. However, if you concentrate on content and don’t get completely consumed in the other SEO areas you will always be ready for any changes that come. People consume content. For a search engine to remain successful, it must provide people with what they want.
My last DealerRefresh article on the Death of SEO might be soon was not written to be taken literally. It was written to show that content is what matters more than anything when it comes to SEO and that content will pull you through any major change that might come down the road. Got it? CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT should be primary and SEO technicals should be secondary.
Q: Will people continue to use Google Instant?
A: I am including this question in here because of Joe Pistell (Usedcarking.com and HUGE contributor to DealerRefresh). He thinks people are not going to like it because 98% of computer users type by looking at their keyboard. I find his simple point to be very interesting as Google Instant could, on that statement alone, become a love/hate tool. I hope that Google Instant will be the first of many tools to encourage people to not look at their keyboards while typing, but this is just my personal hope. By the way, try not looking at your keyboard while typing – you’ll be amazed how much faster you type and how quickly you will stop making typos.
And what about all those people who search from a Google Browser plug-in or the Google Bar? They won’t experience Google Instant. But I am one of those people, and I am trying to break the habit because I find Instant very useful! What do you think?