Google Instant is bound the change the way people search the internet. There are a lot of speculations that surrounded its launch – one of which is that Yahoo’s initiative in the same direction was continued in the past. Although its implementation is not technically-challenging for the tech giant, it nonetheless marks a drastic shift. This is with regards to user interaction.
Basically, before you finish typing a full query on the search box, initial results based on the letters you’ve types so far will already start to appear. It certainly looks like there is promise in this technology. But whether users will widely accept it is another matter.
There are still a lot of issues surrounding Google Instant and SEO strategy implementation. For instance, there will inevitably be users who will find the change distracting. Meanwhile, with regards to its effect on search engine results, two issues are notable: long-tail keywords may be out and localisation might become more popular.
Long-Tail Keywords: On the Way Out?
Google Instant will provide searchers with a “preview” of what the results will be. If they find what they’re looking for, then they will stop typing and click on that link. Long-tail keywords won’t be gone completely but it will certainly receiver lower search volume and will accordingly change the SEO strategy. Another issue is that although the search results provided may not completely be in-line with what the searcher is looking for, they might get distracted. As a result of this, they might start looking at other websites that weren’t in their original intention.
Localisation will be more Important
If long-tail keywords will be lowered in relevance then something is sure to replace it. Early on, one trend is already identified: localisation. In essence, local keywords are bound to be more important in both organic search and pay-per-click (PPC). Searchers will tend to use these to narrow down their query.
For companies that depend on organic search, this presents a difficult challenge. On the other hand, PPC advertisers can potentially reap more benefits if their ads are highly targeted. It is especially important for companies to bid on local keywords to achieve the highest conversion rate possible in Google Instant.
Overall though, while Google Instant will certainly influence search behaviour, the algorithm of the search engine itself won’t change. The difference lies in the way results are presented to users. The impact of this shift won’t be apparent today. It will take months or years before its implications become apparent.