8th September 2010 might just go down in the history of Internet search as one day that changed the way people searched and found information online. Google’s new feature, ‘Google Instant’ is all set to dramatically reduce the time people will spend searching online.
While the new development has excited the Google users owing to the enhanced user experience, it has made most online marketers anxious, just thinking about how it will affect their SEM, SEO efforts. There is a lot of discussion happening online on how Google Instant will affect the search habits of users and eventually affect the business community at large. The greatest fear being that all that money and effort they have spent on SEO might become irrelevant.
According to Google’s official statement – the only visible changes companies can expect is “some fluctuations in AdWords impression volume and in the distribution of organic keywords. For example, you may find that certain keywords receive significantly more or fewer impressions moving forward.”
The Internet is already abuzz with stories of SEO doom as analysts try to decode the outcome of this new feature by Google.
According to Steve Rubel a well known marketer and columnist – “no two people will see the same web. Once a single search would do the trick – and everyone saw the same results. That’s what made search engine optimization work. Now, with this, everyone is going to start tweaking their searches in real-time. The reason this is a game changer is feedback. When you get feedback, you change your behaviors. Google Instant means no one will see the same web anymore, making optimizing it virtually impossible. Real-time feedback will change and personalize people’s search behaviors.”
While I agree with Steve on the personalization of people’s search behavior bit, I would like to differ that this would make search engine optimization irrelevant, rather I would say that now being on the first page (only first page will matter) of Google Search is going to be more relevant. Unlike before people now do not have to go through pages of search results before they come back to refine their search query, with Google Instant now they will start refining their search on the go, stopping only when they find their answers on the fist page of search results.
So folks, get ready for a highly competitive SEO environment, your company will matter only if it is on the first page of search results.
The other noticeable changes one can expect to see are;
- An increase in the usage and optimization of long tail keywords, since these would be used by searchers to refine their search. Foreseeing the long tail queries and optimizing your site for these are going to be critical to your making it to the first two pages of Google search.
- The other trend we might see is in the space of Google pay per click campaigns – I guess it is safe to assume that now that we have search results appearing for even incomplete words we might see increased biddings for incomplete keywords for PPC campaigns. Now this might sound a little far fetched, but then – there is always a possibility that while half way through typing the search query, the person sees something that answers his query and goes on to evaluating the search result. Increasing the possibility for an increase in demand for incomplete keywords.
In fact I feel this could be a well thought through business strategy from Google, I mean adding incomplete keywords to its list of paid keywords is going to be an additional source of generating revenues. However, we have to wait and see if this trend is something which will make headway amongst the advocates of Google PPC campaigns.
Online marketing is a huge industry and millions of hearts tend to miss a beat, when the Search engine leader decides to experiment with its services, after all it might just mean a lot of learning and unlearning in the times to come.
How this would really affect the way we do online marketing and if it would really affect is something only time will tell.
As a searcher, I welcome the change, it is good to unload some of the thinking work to someone else – and when its Google, it is even better.
As a marketer, well what can I say, only God and Google can spread such fear and anxiety even when doing it all for the good of mankind!
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