Image by Westside Shooter.
Google Instant is the talk of the town not only in the SEO industry. While some people still hope SEO will go away most experts agree that SEO is either just changing a bit or now more important than ever due to the recent changes. So I won’t list most of the usual “SEO is not dead” posts here as I expect you to know that. I’ll focus on what the instant search results will mean for SEO, SEM and analytics in reality.
Check out the following 40 Google Instant SEO, SEM & analytics resources list. Btw. The last item is probably the best one.
What is Google Instant all about
IMHO Google Instant is just Google Suggest on Speed. The first four suggestions from Google Suggest get shown in Google Instant now. As of now only registered and logged in users see it so its impact may be not yet that huge. Google wants to roll it out to all others though in future. Click the links below for more exact definitions and broader explanations.
What are the motivations behind Google Instant?
Speed is the official motivation behind the new search interface but some pundits including Kevin Gibbons of SEOptimise suspect monetization as the key idea behind Google Instant.
What are the issues with Google Instant?
Is Google Instant really better? Many people encountered problems like distraction, censorship, or downright irrelevant results. Find out more about them. The owners of Naked Pizza will have to rethink their branding strategy it seems because NSFW results don’t show up.
What are the ramifications of Google Instant for SEO, SEM, analytics etc.
Most people seem to agree that the long tail, that is often exotic search queries with 3 or more keywords will get used less by searchers. On the flip side people will probably at least in some cases follow the trail laid out by Google Instant and click search results from partial queries. Sadly Google Analytics won’t show partial queries you ranked for. Instead Google will always send the “predicted query” as part of the referrer.
Google Instant SEO Techniques
How do we adapt to the new search interface? How do we explain the changes to clients?
Do we have to optimize for partial queries now? Do you have to try to rank for flow when you sell flowers? Questions like these arise and get answered already by some SEO practicioners. Apparently others already practice black hat SEO for Google Instant, make sure to click the last item for these techniques.
What else? Last time Google has introduced a big change to its search result interface it hasn’t worked out due to unnecessary complexity. Do you remember the Google SearchWiki (NOT the SideWiki)? You could add, remove, move and comment on search results. I really liked it but most people got annoyed by the new options. This time I expect many people to get annoyed as well. Some of the articles linked above already mention that.
So Google Instant might disappear within a year like Google SearchWiki did. So don’t panic and change your SEO strategy altogether. Keep in mind that you should try to act independently and not follow every whim of Google. Keep calm and add more content, promote it and get links. You should be fine with that, mo matter the search interface.