You may well have noticed that in the last few days Google has launched a completely new and, dare I suggest it, revolutionary version of their search engine. The new look Google is known as Google Instant, (you can find out more by visiting http://bit.ly/96QhH9)
There are three significant differences in Google Instant compared to the Google we have known and loved for so long.
1. When you type into the Google search box you will be given a list of possible searches. In the past this has been an option which you can choose to switch on or to switch off, but with Google Instant the option is to either switch it on or to switch it on. So you’d better like it! But as well as offering predictive search queries, whereas in the past Google would wait for you to type in at least one or two words before guessing what you were looking for, now Google Instant will try to guess what you are looking for from the moment you type the first letter into the box. Google believes that this will significantly speed up people’s ability to find what it is they are looking for, and their statisticians have worked out that globally Google Instant will save around 11 hours’ worth of time and searching every single second.
2. The second change is that it is no longer necessary to click the search button or press [Enter]. Once you have typed in your search query, or typed in the beginning part of your search query and scrolled down to Google’s guessed search query, the results will be immediately displayed, speeding up the process of searching Google even more.
3. Google Instant also introduces Dynamic Search Results. What this means is that as you add to your search query, edit your search query or remove words from your search query the search results will be updated live, constantly changing to keep up with whatever it is in the search box. This means that you can adapt, experiment and try out various search queries, seeing the results instantly so that you know whether you are on the right track or not.
Now whilst all this is very interesting from the point of view of searching Google, the implications as far as search engine optimisation (SEO) and web marketing is concerned are enormous. If you don’t think that Google Instant is going to have a dramatic impact on your business, your website traffic, and your rankings, then you are in for a very real shock.
Throughout this blog I will highlight over the next few days and weeks case studies, examples, recommendations, tips and advice for how to get to grips with Google Instant, especially from the point of view of search engine optimisation.
But, for now, let me give you just one example that demonstrates very clearly how Google Instant is going to instantly change the way your business needs to tackle online optimisation. Let’s say that your primary key phrase is “search engine optimisation”. In the past you may well have tried what many of your potential customers are likely to have tried, and that is to type the words “search engine optimisation” into Google, and then hit the search button. Once the results are displayed just a fraction of a second later you would hope to see your site ranked fairly high up.
But now, the moment a potential customer starts typing in the key phrase “search engine optimisation”, Google does two things that are going to cause a few problems. The first thing is that it will start displaying results long before the potential customer even gets to the third word. So unless you are optimising for the words “search” or “search engine”, then the work “optimisation” almost becomes redundant.
But also, you will notice that if you type in “search engine” in Google Instant, Google will predict that you are searching for “search engine optimization”. Did you notice the difference there? Google predicted the word “optimization” with a “z”, rather than the key phrase for which you have actually optimised, which is spelt the UK way. This means that one single letter difference in combination with Google Instant and predictive search results, all adds up to one very clear fact: you and I are going to be very, very busy over the next few weeks!