Well, the latest of them all is Google Instant, according to Google:
“Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.”
Here is the official video from Google:
Search Results Page Real Estate
Have a look at the screen shot of today’s morning. I just typed in “cheap” and Google interpreted it as that I am looking for flights, tickets, hotels etc.
If you look at the SERP closely, you will realize that organic listings have moved further down due to instant suggestions by Google. The first three spots are occupied by adwords ads as usual; the right side is all full of sponsored links, the left side is options for universal search and more, where is the organic listings?? This screen shot is taken with firefox, and Google toolbar installed. Let’s assume that normal web users don’t have Google toolbar installed, but still there won’t be more than 3 organic listing visible in the first fold.
I hope you get the idea what this leads to! More monetization for Google, oops I said it…
Impact on SEO
I think Google instant will change the SEO game forever. As mentioned above, organic listings are going deeper than ever, so top 3 results will have some value; apart from this there is no point even if you are on first page and ranking below the first fold. These are just my personal thoughts, and have nothing to do with promoting my PPC Consultant Services.
Jokes apart, this will change the people search on Google. Google Instant will change the search behavior of users. I wonder how this will affect the local seo. As mentioned by Google earlier, search results are shown different to different users according to their personal search data, their physical location, ip address and more; the local ranking will become more important than organic listings. Have a look at the screenshot of local listing below:
I am sure you would notice that there are no organic listing showing up. What do SEO Professionals do now? Hang themselves?? Don’t consider this as ranting (even though I know it is a rant) and please don’t hang yourself.
According to Steve Rubel, “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.”
Chris Crum on webpronews.com considers Google Instant as the end of SEO, but I think SEO will never end. SEO Experts will always find the way to get traffic from search engines doesn’t matter what is changed.
Effect on long tail searches
I came across an interesting article on Search Engine Land which says that Google Instant will kill the long tail, but I have different view on long tails. Long tails are searches made by mature users who know what they are looking for. Users looking for specific information or product will do long tail searches no matter what Google changes.
Matt Cutts throws some lights on the new updates and adds, “A key insight behind Google Instant is that if we want to get people answers and solve their problems faster, we can help with that by improving our UI to help you formulate queries more quickly (and then doing a bunch of hard work under the hood to answer that query too). Google typically returns search results in milliseconds, but it takes several seconds for you to type a query. In other words, the limiting factor on a typical search is you. With predictive search and instant results, you can often get the answer you want much faster.”
Here I would like to show a video by Matt Cutts which shows that it is not the end of SEO and it will be there for years to come:
I would love to hear your views on this. Do you think SEO is here for longer?? Let me know in comments why do you think SEO is not over yet!