Yesterday Google announced the release of Google Instant an enhancement that serves results as you type. In classic Google fashion this is a subtle tweak that may have substantial implications for brands across both paid and organic search. Before getting two excited though the reality is it's all theory until the data can support it. So, as we enter into the new world of Google Instant here are a few initial thoughts for advertisers to consider:
- We should expect this will be good for overall search volume ' Being a public company with rigorous testing we can assume what's good for users is also good for Google shareholders. To quote Google VP Search Marissa Mayer in her interview with Ad Age ' '"Overall, this will be a much better experience for our users, so they will actually be searching more. Google Instant will grow the size and scope of search in general." Since relevant search referrals is a scarce resource for most brands, this increased volume should be good for advertisers as well.
- This does not change SEO principles - In fact, Google Instant only reinforces that search is a constantly evolving and dynamic environment. Sound SEO principles remain fundamental in managing to the rules rather than the exceptions.
- Behavior questions '
- Will header terms or brands with more generic names benefit? Here's an example ' in starting to search for 'health insurance California'? I made it as far as 'heal'? when the insurer HealthNet is served as the 2nd result in my drop down box. Does this mean that this brand may see increased search volume (piggy backing off of high volume 'health insurance'? searches) vs. a brand such as Anthem Blue Cross that does not include 'health'? in its brand name? TBD
- How will this impact the long tail? Will searchers get lazy and choose header terms more frequently OR will long tail suggestions later in the query process actually improve long tail volume? TBD
- Most importantly, understand what this means for you - implications may be industry or brand specific, focus on the data to understand the meaning for your business. It is far too early to understand how the balance between paid and organic usage or keyword search behavior patterns will change. Brands should therefore work with their agencies to monitor and interpret any potential changes specific to their objectives.