For some older aged web users, to hear someone say that Google is not fast enough is hilariously amusing, if not annoying. For some of the younger aged web browsers, to hear someone talk about Libraries and Encyclopedias is equally entertaining.
It doesn’t matter which side of the spectrum you are on; the fact of the matter is: Google just got faster.
What is Google Instant?
This past week, Google launched a new feature that shows results as you type, whereas previously, it would show results only after users typed in their query and clicked search. “This means that you can scan a results page while you type,” says Google. According to the search engine, this should reduce the average time to enter a search by 2-5 seconds. Sure, that is a decently huge reduction for each individual person. Even further, though, is how much time it will save Google searchers collectively. If there are 91 million searches on Google each and every day, web browsers will save somewhere between 50,000 and 126,500 hours per day!
Like all new enhancements, some users may find Google Instant annoying. (Don’t worry; there is an On/Off switch on the top right next to the search bar.)
Google Instant’s Impact on SEO
Between search engine experts, there is no consensus on Google’s impact on the SEO market. From what I can see, the benefits seem to be enormous and the disadvantages few and far between.
On the one hand, argues IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds, Google has become much more user friendly, and that will cause people to use it (even more!).
Google has cut down what experts calls the “pogo stick” problem, where users search, click, scroll, visit, and do not find what they are looking for. “Instant will help show what the right links are more quickly.” Good news for Google, web-browsers, and SEOers alike.
However, Google Instant will make SEO far more competitive. As users type and read the results simultaneously, their eyes will focus only on the top few results, say the experts.
“As people search and the results start to display, they’re going to be paying attention to only what they can see on the screen,” said Patrick Kerley, a senior digital strategist at Levick Strategic Communications.
Furthermore, the value of long keyword phrases has slightly diminished. Let me explain. For example as users type the word Medina into the search bar, they immediately see results for the Medina County Fair, because Google Instant fills in the blanks for them.
For users who already know what they are searching for, this will not have any impact on SEO. But for those who do not know what they are searching for, this could be a new chapter in the search engine history.
Whether for better or for worse, one can only wait to see. As for me, I am extremely hopeful for the best and very excited to see what comes next!