Innovations and changes to the Google search platform are not new; in fact, Google has remained the dominant force in the search engine world precisely because it is always changing its formula to reflect the needs of the searcher. As Google Instant rolls out, it may be a huge boon to searchers, saving them time and helping them formulate more specific queries for richer content results. But what will be the effect on search engine optimisation? Will it be the death knell that some predict, or will it simply be integrated into SEO campaigns without a hitch?
Death knells are always sounding for SEO: some were worried that https://google.com, Google’s private search beta, would kill SEO. Others worried that changes in the algorithm or in privacy policies would spell the end. The fact remains, however, that SEO has not only weathered these “storms” but has grown in relevancy and importance. Is Google Instant poised to change this? Google Instant differs from other search engine results in that results appear as you type. This, according to Google, is supposed to shave time off your searches, as well as help you find more targeted queries. The apprehension is that sites would now have to optimise not only for full keyword terms, but partially-typed ones as well.
Would, for example, one have to start using keywords like “search engine opti”? Or, to get onto search result pages faster, simply “Sea…,” which, it was pointed out, can lead to any number of wrong predictions. Google Analytic’s Alden DeSoto responded to a site owner who asked if he should change his search advertising strategy to accommodate for partial keywords, saying, “This is not a productive strategy. Please note that ads are triggered based on the ‘predicted query’ and not the stem that the users type in.” The same is true of non-ad content.
According to Google, page rank will not be affected by Google Instant, though traffic to a given site may be. It may be necessary to look at traffic in the coming months and revise long-tail keywords based on that data, but constant change and improvement is part of any successful SEO campaign and should be undertaken regularly, regardless of changes to the search engine itself.