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Thread: Thoughts on Google Instant?

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    Thoughts on Google Instant?

    Have you all seen the new Google? It predicts the results you are looking for as you type the query.

    So say for example you were getting good traffic for a medium tail keyword like "best samsung tv review", the searcher would see results for "best samsung tv" before they got to type review and might actually find what they are looking for, effectively bypassing your page which may have been what they were actually looking for in the first place.

    Somebody on Twitter put it quite well when they said that Google Instant is like that friend that always tries to finish your sentence. They might be trying to help, but more often than not they're just annoying.

    Thoughts on this? How do you think this will impact peoples businesses? For me it's a prime example of why I'm trying to build traffic from as many diverse sources as possible. I don't like that Google can do this at the drop of a hat and affect my business.

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    Thanks for spotting this and starting the thread, ian.

    Remember heat maps - the areas of the page where visitors are most likely to click? Well now with Google Instant the sponsored links are in an even more clickable spot ... and there are less organics above the fold.

    I've got to admit it's very shrewd. Till I hit the search button I get only 2.5 organic listings above the fold on this 1280x800 laptop screen and nine sponsored links.

    On the plus side, it does throw up results faster.

    Webmasters relying on a long tail traffic may see a drop in visitors.

    I see this having a major impact on advertisers. The ads keep changing as you type which means your ad could now be showing for a term you never bid on. As soon as you type "sam" in your Samsung TV search you start getting ads for Samsung mobile phones.

    Here's a new game. Want #1 spot for Viagra and it's too competitive? Now you can target Via, Viag and Viagr and distract the visitor into clicking before he's completed his search term and found the real Viagra #1

    Anyone knows if there are any implications for analytics apart from what they say on the Google blog:

    With Google Instant, we also measure impressions in these new cases:
    1. 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.
    2. The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds.
    To give an example, letís say your site has lots of impressions for [hotels] and [hotels in santa cruz]. Now, because Instant is quickly fetching results as the user types, the user could see your site in the search results for [hotels] after typing only the partial query [hote]. If a user types partial query [hote] and then clicks on any result on the page for [hotels], that counts as an impression for your site. That impression will appear in Webmaster Tools for the query [hotels]. The term 'hotels' would also be included in the HTTP referrer when the user clicks through to visit your website.
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    I like it. I've gotten pretty good at searching over the years and I usually have a very specific phrase in mind before I perform the search but sometimes (a lot...) if I'm searching for a solution to a problem I'll Google it to see if anyone else has had the same problem but I'm often not sure what phrases or words they might have used and can end up trying loads of variations before finding a solution. Instant makes that a lot easier.

    This is going to have a big impact on SEO but you'll still have to be optimised for the phrase for it show your page and as long as there are search results there'll be SEO.

    Not sure about it's effect on PPC yet, gonna keep a close eye on the accounts I manage over the next week or so.

    It doesn't do adult searches!! Wonder what else they've had to censor from the suggestions in case kids are using it, not sure I like that at all.

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    I didn't notice the censoring, but must admit I don't feel the same as you about it. I'm glad my kids won't get pages offering them pictures of huge tits when they are trying to search for tiger.
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    I don't get it yet

    It'll be interesting to see what impact it has on the SEO world. I don't think it will make much difference, as I don't think partial words (hote instead of hotel) are a consideration and a partial phrase always exists in the full phrase anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I'm glad my kids won't get pages offering them pictures of huge tits when they are trying to search for tiger.
    Wouldn't "safe search" filter dodgy results out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I didn't notice the censoring, but must admit I don't feel the same as you about it. I'm glad my kids won't get pages offering them pictures of huge tits when they are trying to search for tiger.
    It's not that I want my kids to see that stuff mate, of course I don't. My kids aren't even allowed on google without supervision let alone sites like youtube and it's ilk. What I don't like is that content is being held back and that someone else has made the decision about what I can and can't see. I just don't like censorship, aside from the fact that I'm seing what someone else thinks it's ok for me to see it's also not organic.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    It'll be interesting to see what impact it has on the SEO world. I don't think it will make much difference, as I don't think partial words (hote instead of hotel) are a consideration and a partial phrase always exists in the full phrase anyway.
    It's going to change things that's for sure, this is from Aaron Wall's blog:

    • it consolidates search volume into a smaller basket of keywords
    • it further promotes the localization of results
    • it makes it easier to change between queries, so its easier to type one more letter than scroll down the page
    • it further pollutes AdWords impression testing as a great source of data
    While I was having a play with it yesterday I noticed that a colleague of mine ranks number one for "buxton web desi" and I rank number one for "buxton web desig".... one letter difference, go figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    While I was having a play with it yesterday I noticed that a colleague of mine ranks number one for "buxton web desi" and I rank number one for "buxton web desig".... one letter difference, go figure.
    That's ridiculous! I thought that Google were autocompleting the word and then searching for it. I suppose there are more autompletion options for "desi"... Hmmm...

    Is your colleague a desi, by any chance?

    Thanks fro the link, I'll check that out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    It's going to change things that's for sure, this is from Aaron Wall's blog:

    • it consolidates search volume into a smaller basket of keywords
    • it further promotes the localization of results
    • it makes it easier to change between queries, so its easier to type one more letter than scroll down the page
    • it further pollutes AdWords impression testing as a great source of data
    Just checked out his blog, but he doesn't explain how he arrived at those points. The only point I understand (and the only one that's verifiable at this point) is "it makes it easier to change between queries, so its easier to type one more letter than scroll down the page".

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    I'm just thinking about that example on the Google blog:

    To give an example, letís say your site has lots of impressions for [hotels] and [hotels in santa cruz]. Now, because Instant is quickly fetching results as the user types, the user could see your site in the search results for [hotels] after typing only the partial query [hote]. If a user types the partial query [hote] and then clicks on any result on the page for [hotels], that counts as an impression for your site. That impression will appear in Webmaster Tools for the query [hotels]. The term 'hotels' would also be included in the HTTP referrer when the user clicks through to visit your website.

    Itís likely that your site will still see impressions for queries like [hotels in santa cruz], but because Instant is helping the user find results faster, your site may see an increase in impressions for shorter terms as well.
    I'm not sure that's a good example. When you search for "hotels", the page you get will be a generic page about booking a hotel in general (see laterooms.com etc). Only when you refine the search to include "hotels in santa cruz" will you get results that include the city specific search. These results will probably be specific pages raleted to santa cruz, with targeted titles and descriptions. The seracher is either going to search for "hotels" or "hotels in santa cruz". They won't start typing "hotels" and suddenly find a result that distracts them enough to abandon the city specific search. In my opinion.

    Maybe it's a bad example. I'm sure there might be other examples where the searcher abandons the intended long tail phrase halfway through.

    I can't see Instant yet. Is it true that the suggestions dropdown box obliterates the organic results?

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