The launch of Google Instant has implications for paid search and search engine marketing. The tool, which has been rolled out to registered Google users, presents updated results as each letter of a search term is typed, reducing search time from an average of 24 seconds to an estimated 20 seconds.
So what do digital marketers need to know about how the new service operates? Does it represent a major shift in search engine marketing practice or is it a natural evolution for the industry?
Here Guy Levine, CEO from full service digital marketing agency, Return on Digital gives us five things that marketers need to know about the new service.
1. Closely monitor PPC accounts. With the launch of Google Instant, Google has announced changes to how a impression is measured. Google states impressions are now counted :
- if a site is displayed in search results as a response to a user’s completed query (e.g. by pressing “enter” or selecting a term from autocomplete).
- if the user begins to type a term on Google and clicks on a link on the page, such as a search result, ad, or a related search
- if the user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.
This change in the way impressions are counted will effect ad click through rates for paid search.
2. Choose keywords carefully. With the Google Suggest playing an increasingly important role with the launch of Google Instant the first thought maybe to discard keyphrases that don’t appear in Google Suggest based solely on that fact. However this could be detrimental in the long run as the suggested keywords do and will change over time. Be savvy and monitor periodically – probably more PPC than anything else.
3. Target ‘middle tail’ to ‘long tail’ keywords. Search behaviour will likely change in the long term, no changes to the ranking algorithm, but I can see ‘middle tail’ searches growing in volume. For SEO’s, target the head term and build up content to bring in the long tail on the back of that. But now you’ll have a clear 3, 4, 5, 6 opportunities to appear in the search results pages before the search is even complete.
4. Good news for brand names. For those digital marketers working with brands there appears to be a heavy bias towards brands appearing no.1 in the search results after one letter typed in the search box see: http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/instant-alphabet.html – This won’t be a surprise to those who work in SEO and have seen the recent brand bias in the last major search algorithm update.
5. Don’t panic. It is difficult to tell at this early stage what effect Google Instant will have on SEO and PPC as we know it. Remember that Google has not changed its algorithm, the changes that Google Instant will bring about will be in user behaviour rather than the results displayed for a given search. Our advice is to monitor changes carefully and to think carefully before making any hasty changes to SEO and PPC campaigns.
Follow Guy on twitter: http://twitter.com/guylevine
Read the Return on Digital blog: http://www.returnondigital.com/blog
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