Adam T. Sutton

Instant Speculation on New Google

September 13th, 2010
Share

Google rocked the search world last week by introducing a new feature that automatically predicts and displays search results as users type their queries.

Google Instant met with a swarm of speculation, including predictions that it would kill SEO, change SEO, and not change SEO.

All commentary is speculation at this point. Google Instant’s impact on search marketing will not likely be clear for another 30 to 60 days. The change will likely affect some marketers more than others, depending on search’s role in your marketing.

The folks at search agency and software provider Covario sent me a seven-page brief on the topic they wrote for their clients. Three highlights from their analysis and predictions:

1. Top organic positions are more important than ever
Google Instant pushes down organic results
As users type search queries using the new feature, a drop-down “suggestion box” appears, pushing down paid and organic search results, and pushing some organic results below the fold.

Results pages with three or four ads in the top position sometimes only list one organic link above the fold (see image). The links pushed below the fold will likely experience a drop in traffic.

2. More ‘broad matching’ in PPC

Since users see results as they type, marketers will migrate toward strategies that use broad matching on the first keywords of popular multi-keyword queries.

In the short term, CPCs will increase and advertisers will have to budget more toward Google to drive similar volume, according Covario’s brief.

3. Not all searches are “Instant”

Google’s new feature is designed to work in the following browsers:
o Internet Explorer v8
o Safari for Mac v5
o Firefox v3
o Chrome v5, v6

Users running other browsers will perform traditional Google searches. Filtering your website analytics to track visitors by browser will help your team better understand how Google Instant changes your visitors’ behavior.

Please note: Covario’s brief emphasized that its analysis is strictly speculation. Only time and rigorous testing can determine what impact Google’s latest feature will have on your marketing and the marketing community as a whole.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

Categories: Search Marketing Tags: , , , ,



  1. Jonathan
    September 20th, 2010 at 11:20 | #1

    I can’t remember the last time I went to Google.com to search before wanting to see what the instant search was all about. Features like browser integrated search and Chrome’s single search/URL removes the need to visit Google.com. I’m sure most people still visit the Google homepage to search, even if they are most interested in the doodle, but any statistics on how Google is used beyond browser versions would useful in understanding the potential impact on SEM.

  2. February 5th, 2011 at 02:05 | #2

    I don’t know the exact impact of this new feature on PPL or SEO but i am sure for end users like me, this features help me to get alternative keywords that i can use for the same search.This way i get more quality answer than the early time when i only get answer for keyword i imagine about.Google has done a good job and seo experts needs to reorganize themselves and embrace this development.

We no longer accept comments on the MarketingSherpa blog, but we'd love to hear what you've learned about customer-first marketing. Send us a Letter to the Editor to share your story.