Google Instant is a new feature on the Google search engine that is characterized by predictive search and instant filtering of search results. This feature can be turned off and on depending on the preference of the search engine user.
Google’s goal is to quickly deliver what their uses are trying to find, by automatically filling up or completing the search phrase being typed, at the same time displaying other related keywords below.. while displaying organic search results and PPC results based on the auto-completed phrase that appears in the search box.
How Does Google Instant Work?
- search engine user starts typing a keyword in the Google search box
- search results and PPC results change as user completes typing a search phrase but the results being instantly displayed are for the phrase that Google auto-completes
- as a search engine user types a search phrase, Google guesses and auto completes what the user is typing and the organic results and PPC results change accordingly
- the way pages are being ranked remains the same, but this new feature will affect and change the way people search for information on Google
My Two Cents on Google Instant
Google Instant is essentially a search engine browsing and research aid, it encourages exploring… and is helpful for search engine users who may not have something specific or not already know exactly what they are looking.
Is is also helpful for search engine users who have already decided what search phrase to use in finding the information they want, as it allows them to drill down further and make their search queries even more specific.
Google Instant’s Impact on Google Users and SEO
- search engine users easily find what they are looking for, and faster
- search engine users are able to define their searches better
- user intentions are clearer due to more defined searches
- search engine users can do a variety of more search queries and get a mix of different results in a shorter span of time
- a possible increase in targeted traffic for sites that rank well for specific keyword searches that exactly match intentions of a search engine user
- predictive results while offering more possible search options to the user, can be a distraction:
- may divert the user from the original search phrase they were intending on using, to a Google predicted/auto-filled search phrase or search results that catches their attention, while in the middle of typing
- may divert user from topic they were searching for altogether, for instance a user interested in one topic may click another topic as it gets displayed in the search box when he types the first few letters of his query.. for instance a person interested in lawyer, starts typing the keyword lawyer, but gets diverted by lady gaga upon reaching “la”, or clicks off to law and order when having typed “law
- a possible increase in less targeted traffic because of incidental clicks (through auto completed results)
- a possible increase in less targeted traffic for sites ranked for broad keywords or phrases of 1 or 2 word phrases because of predictive results that may catch a user’s attention
Google Instant is a double edged sword; disruptive and perceptive, ultimately dependent on the user and how he uses this feature.
The official statement goes, Google Instant is an update Google rolled out with to further develop its product for users. In the process Google also increases revenue as a result of higher ad impressions generated, as opposed to static search impressions. Its effectiveness is dependent on the user and his intentions; capable of steering a user in the right direction to find exactly what he is looking for, or distracting an unsure researcher who proceeds with a different keyword / topic and takes a different browsing direction.