What is Google Instant?
Google Instant is rolling out over the next several days to users signed in to a Google Account. If it isn’t working for you switch over to google.com. It hasn’t rolled out to all countries yet.
Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows changing results as you type. There is no hitting the search or enter button. The results start to appear as soon as you type a letter. Google is trying to speed up searches by making it possible to scan a results page while you type. Google Instant will also help slow typists by predicting what you’re about to type and delivering results based on those predictions. The results you want will appear before you finish typing. By seeing dynamically changing search terms as you type Google is providing you with instant feedback and helping you to formulate a better search.
Does Google Instant affect SEO?
Probably. SEO practices are constantly changing to keep up with ever-changing reality of the Internet.
I pointed out above that Google Instant will help you to formulate a better search. Google Instant will affect the search terms we include in an SEO strategy. In the past I would want to optimize my site for the search phrases “toronto web design” and “toronto web designer”. Notice what happens with Google Instant. As you type “toronto web design” Google Instant displays the results. This will drastically reduce the number of searches for “toronto web designer“. With the advent of Google Instant I will give less consideration to this phrase in my SEO strategy.
I also noticed that when I search “toronto wordpress” in Google Instant I get different Instant results then when I hit enter and go to the SERP. Google Instant is predicting that I want to search “toronto wordpress developer“. I may have been planning on searching “toronto wordpress designer” but Google’s suggestion has led me to a different search term. I now need to ensure that my site is optimized for the keyword developer.
Google’s Matt Cutts speaks about Google Instant on his blog. He suggests that over time Google Instant may change how people search. “Google Instant includes personalization, and personalization changes SEO.” We will need to assess the changes and adapt our practices accordingly.
Do you think that Google Instant will impact your SEO strategy? Do you tend to search from a Google toolbar or from the Google home page?