On Sept. 8, Google announced the improved search feature, Google Instant. Users on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer 8 will begin to see results displayed as soon as they type in queries.
At first glance, this simply seems like a time-saver, Google estimates 2 – 5 seconds saved per search. Really only enough time to sip your coffee. However, there is real value to the consumer, and marketers will need to step up vigilance on search term optimization especially for pay per click (PPC) campaigns.
For the consumer, Google Instant is better than the Google suggestions at the bottom of the first page of results. By seeing results as you type, you are better able to refine your search on the fly. Google Instant makes interactive suggestions based on where others have been before.
For example, I typed in ‘ex’ and as you can see Google Instant delivers Expedia as my first option.
BEWARE! Marketers need to be concerned with the rest of the Google changes. In preparation for the launch of Google Instant, Google quietly updated their keyword tool. This generated numerous reports of huge drops in search traffic numbers.
According to Gary Adam Shannon of searchenginewatch.com, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] used to report an estimate of 165,000 monthly searches two weeks ago:
As of right now, the (exact) phrase [golf clubs] reports 33,100 monthly searches.
If you are currently running a PPC campaign, you must re-evaluate your search terms based on the changes Google has implemented. This will impact website planning, SEO efforts and embedding keywords in websites.
Additionally, a faster, more streamlined search means less opportunity for long tail searches. This will drive up the PPC cost for popular search terms. Online marketers are going to have to go back to the basics as it relates to managing the search engine.
Let us know what you think of Google Instant and if you have seen a drop in your search traffic. Follow Weise Communications on Twitter for more updates.