Google Instant Searches the Web as You Type - The Death of SEO?
So, Google's rolling out Google Instant this week, across the world. Google Instant will change the way the average person on the street performs searches.
The difference between Google and Google Instant is that the minute you start to type your search into the Google webpage, the search results will start appearing on your page - you no longer have to press the search button before you get any idea if what you're looking for will yield any results.
When you type into Google Instant, you're instantly given your results based on what you've typed so far, right from when you type the first character. If you keep typing the search you were after into Google Instant, the search results/websites that Google Instant is offering you will be constantly changing... theoretically refining your search and giving you a better chance of finding a relevant site quicker.
I think I like it, but sometimes I'm not too sure. Google Instant will certainly affect what I search for, it would be just one step closer to Google being able to gently nudge me to exactly where it wanted me to go, by only auto-suggesting its premium clients for example. Google Instant doesn't do that yet, it simply suggests, but I think you can see how this could develop commercially.
For Google Instant to work, there's a lot of power required - if you're on a slow connection or have limited bandwidth, then at times this can cause problems. Earlier today I was warned that Google Instant could no longer work as I had a low connection speed, which was annoying. Maybe the system's going into overload as everybody's trying out Google Instant for themselves.
Poll: Google Instant -v- Google
If you've used Google Instant (and noticed!), which do you prefer? Feel free to leave comments in the comments box about your feelings or findings.
Google's research shows that it takes the average user 9 seconds to perform a query - and in the land of Google, 9 seconds is just way too long. So Google Instant is intended to speed up your searching, making you a happier bunny.
Google was also kind enough to slip in an ON/OFF button, which you'll find in your Google User Preferences (if you knew they existed!), which you'll find here: http://www.google.com/preferences although I've found my Google preferences used to reset so I never use them these days.
Google As It Is Now
What I Like About Google Instant
As I am typing into Google Instant what I thought I was searching for, sometimes it can be handy to quickly spot the website you're after, I feel this will work well when you know the site you're searching for and you're using Google to remind you. If you can see the website listed, you know you've found it.
The current auto-suggestions can sometimes help me to finish my search string and the automatically appearing search results can be fascinating. But is this a good thing? Maybe I am being manipulated towards the more common searches, whereas my best work has come from completely making up what I want to search for.
As Google Instant is showing me suggestions of what I am looking for, it can speed up what I think the best search phrase might be for what I am looking for. But Google Instant is showing more than suggestions, it's showing the links to the actual websites it's found so far for your search phrase.
I predict less 4-5+ long keywords/phrases being typed in by accomplished googlers - and a 'dumbing down' of the results as people quickly pick a website offered to them after just the 1st or 2nd word.
What I am Not Sure About with Google Instant
Google Instant turned itself off on my PC earlier, because it said I had a slow/bad connection, this was annoying.... and later on the search results stopped after 4 items, even though there were 418,000, so I suspect Google Instant is actually eating up more resources and bandwidth as they'd have us believe.
I think this will have an impact on SEO, especially long-tail keywords. Over the past decade or so, more and more people have been targetting long tail keywords, this means instead of targetting (say) "small dogs", they'd be targetting "small dogs as indoor pets" or "small dogs coats for cold winters". Catching those longer phrases meant there was a slice of the pie to be had by everybody. Now I figure the big boys will be able to clean up on shorter keyword phrases as they have the cash and muscle to nudge out the little guy, as people are spotting what seems a good answer to their query right from the first/second keyword.
Google Instant - the Death of SEO?
If you do any SEO, do you think Google Instant will impact on your work? On your results? And, ultimately, your income?
Will Google Instant Be the Death of SEO?
My personal opinion is that at first, for some, it will be the death of their traffic, but Google Instant won't be the death of SEO - in fact, SEO techniques will now need to be tightened up. No more slack SEO work, we all have to actually work our SEO pitch to death and do it right ... not rely on sloppy long tail keywords to get us through.
I'm sure over the coming week, when the news of Google Instant has sunk in, I'll have started to spot either different traffic trends on my website - but what petrifies me is if I lose all of my traffic virtually overnight!
What about you? Do you think Google Instant will be the Death of SEO? Please comment below.
How to See & Use Google Instant if You're Not in the US
Like all things on the Internet, Google Instant is being made available to the US first, then other countries around the country.
But many of you will want to see it now, use it now - especially if you're in internet marketing and are worried that Google Instant might be the death of SEO and worried about the effect on your traffic and income.
If you want to use Google Instant from your country, now, without waiting, then simply go to: http://www.google.com/ncr which gives you the .com domain, as if you were in the US. As you know, if you're in the UK and you try to go to google.com it will usually default you to google.co.uk - well, this link gets round that.
New SEO Methods Needed
I suspect over the next 2-3 months, fans of long-tailed keywords will be battling to hold their positions in Google, while the long-established, powerful and wealthier big companies get the chance to clean up and take all that income-generating traffic.
Now's the time to revisit your SEO strategies as you've now got to work hard to minimise the damage on your wallet! It's back to the keyword tools for me I fear.