In September Google once again changed the way we use their search engine; search once, and then your revision searches update as you type. With an idea that makes someone wonder, “Why didn’t anyone do that before?” Google Instant has found a way to deliver results even faster than it already has.
If you thought that Google’s auto-predictive text in their search bar was genius, Google Instant’s automatic webpage results will impress you. No longer do you have to press “Enter” to find your answers – they will be searched, sorted, and shown to you faster than you can type. As you type out your search, Google Instant suggests your next words in gray that can show results with a click of the “Tab” key. Not only is Google Instant showing you what you want faster, they are guessing what you want too.
Currently you must have and be logged into a Google account before using this feature, and it is only available in the the U.S. and select European countries. By Winter, Google Instant will be available on mobile devices. It is believed that it will be more used (and useful) on mobile devices as users tend to always be signed into their Google accounts while on their devices.
Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience of Google, has said that this new feature will speed up searches by 2-5 seconds per search. Over one billion people use the Google search engine, saving a total of 350 million hours a year, according to Ms. Mayer.
So how does Google Instant affect your company?
With Google Instant, users can now see your advertisements quicker and faster. However, your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) will undoubtedly go down because users will see your ads, but not actually click them. Lower CTR rate means lower ad quality. Lower ad quality means lower conversions. But don’t worry, Google has already thought ahead on the advertisements and impressions issue, since, that’s how they make their money. Because of this reduced CTR risk, Google AdWords will only count advertisements that have been up for more than 3 seconds, if the user clicks “tab” on the grey words shown in the search box or if the user clicks “enter.” While this helps relieves some of the stress, SEO companies will have to work much harder at broadening their field (a.k.a long-tail search) to help their clients generate new business.
While long-tail searches may have been less frequent (due to their need for input from the person making the search, including, revising the search, press Enter key, and repeat) Google Instant now shows up to five possible options with the search bar, including long-tail searches. As you type in words, next words are shown to you making long-tail searches even easier for the user to access. The lazy web surfer (and lets be honest, most people are) will enjoy this feature because Google Instant is essentially, now thinking for us. For SEO companies, this broadens the possibilities of how a user searches, and how they must find ways to reach potential new clients.