Earlier today, Google rolled out the latest update to their search property, dubbed as Google Instant. Announced during an event held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the new enhancement is, as Google VP for Search Products and User Experience Marissa Meyer puts it, a “fundamental shift in search” for the Internet giant. And it really is, putting much emphasis on speed and efficiency.
In the past, we’ve seen Google’s search text box carry a predictive text capability with their autosuggest feature, which guesses what your intended search term is as you type. Google Instant adds dynamic page loads to that whole premise, with the results pages instantly refreshing as you type in ever letter of your search query.
“Improving the speed and precision people have come to expect from Google was an incredible engineering challenge. said Ben Gomes, Distinguished Engineer over at Google. “Even before this improvement, Google was serving more than a billion searches per day. We had to find efficient ways to address the increased demand.”
Upping Speed and Efficiency
|Speed and efficiency, as shown by this graph provided by Google
We tested Google Instant and we must say that this is indeed a great search enhancement to Google’s already sturdy search product. One of its obvious benefits it brings to the table is efficiency, with its speed giving you the ability to find exactly what you need in the fastest time possible. Lifehacker did a speed test, comparing the old Google against Google Instant—the results garnered a pretty compelling case in favor of the new search enhancement.
You would also be able to refine your searches as you type every letter of your intended search term. This is, in our opinion, the best feature Google Instant carries. Previously, you’d have to hit Enter, look at the results, add a word to your search query and then repeat the process until the Google displays your desired links. Now, with the predicted terms already lined up on the dropdown menu, all you need to do is hit the Up or Down arrow keys and the results page will refresh accordingly.
“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.” according to the Google Instant About page.
Possible Effects on SEO
As with any search engine updates, online marketers, search engine optimization practitioners and site owners are naturally curious whether this will change the whole SEO scene.
“The search results will remain the same for a query, but it’s possible that people will learn to search differently over time.” said Internet-famous Google Engineer Matt Cutts on his blog. “For example, I was recently researching a congressperson. With Google Instant, it was more visible to me that this congressperson had proposed an energy plan, so I refined my search to learn more, and quickly found myself reading a post on the congressperson’s blog that had been on page 2 of the search results.”
We noticed during our initial uses that the resulting sites and their rankings seem to remain the same. Be that as it may, we still believe that there will indeed be some SEO-related changes up ahead, particularly when it comes to some SEO techniques and to general approach to both search marketing and advertising.
Google Instant obviously influences changes on how people get results and their overall search behavior. For instance, the quick results and real-time search term refinements may deliver their desired links within the first results page, which would naturally decrease chances of users clicking on to view the succeeding pages.
According to the entry posted on the Google Analytics blog, site owners and searchers may “notice some fluctuations in AdWords impression volume and in the distribution of organic keywords. For example, you may find that certain keywords receive significantly more or fewer impressions moving forward.” This is because there most likely will be a significant increase in the user engagements with Google’s search services, including ads. Because you don’t have to actually finish typing your search term, the possibility that any Web site may appear multiple times during search term refinements are increased. And along with each shifting results page comes the relevant AdWords.
At this point, it’s too early to forecast the particular effects Google Instant may bring about on the overall search engine optimization field. These are merely our first impressions about a search update pushed out merely hours ago. On the other hand, if the aforementioned effects should have no bearing to how SEO in general is practiced, these should prompt many SEO services to ramp up on their site optimization efforts and make careful adjustments to their search marketing tactics.
Google Instant works for your basic text-based blended searches on the Google.com landing page for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer 8. In addition to the US, its current rollout includes users with Google login credentials from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK within the next few hours. A complete feature rollout to all geographies and platforms should take place within the coming weeks or months. No word though if it will find its way to other search filters like Images, Videos, News or even on their real-time search Updates.
Popularity: 12% [?]
Popularity: 12% [?]