In September, Google launched Google Instant, an AJAX-powered search enhancement that displays search results as users type their queries rather than after pressing enter. A new search predictor of sorts, Google Instant is designed to help save web surfers valuable searching time to the tune of about 2 to 5 seconds per search. However, many in the search marketing industry are speculating about what effects Google Instant will have on SEO.
Some think that it will change the SEO game entirely. For example, in a blog post reacting to the launch of Google Instant, PR executive Steve Rubel said that the new feature will “kill SEO.” Rubel says:
“No two people will see the same web. Once a single search would do the trick – and everyone saw the same results. That’s what made search engine optimization work. Now, with this, everyone is going to start tweaking their searches in real-time. The reason this is a game changer is feedback. When you get feedback, you change your behaviors.”
Others, like search marketing software company SEOmoz, see Google Instant as a relatively minor change in the scheme of things. As SEOmoz founder Rand Fishkin said in this blog post, Google Instant “changes less than your average algorithmic rankings update.” To exemplify his point, Fishkin shared a chart from MEC that compares 12 days’ worth of referring keyword phrases of varying length from five different sites before and after the launch of Google Instant:
As the chart demonstrates, Google Instant hardly had a dramatic impact.
To illustrate his point further, Fishkin also shared SEOmoz’ Google Analytics data from before and after the launch:
Like the MEC chart, these graphs indicate little to no change.
So what does CyberMark think of Google Instant? We believe that, although Google Instant will probably slightly modify search behavior over time, it’s certainly won’t kill SEO. With near-constant technological advances and search engine algorithms updates, what it means to be “optimized” is constantly changing and will continue to change. Google Instant is just one small change. As SEO experts, we promise to keep you updated on the latest in SEO techniques to keep your website competitive on the Internet.