Google today announced Google Instant, a new feature that's rolling out now. Google Instant automatically shows results that dynamically change as you type your query from the Google homepage or from a Google search results page.
SEO experts are wasting no time weighing in. Some are pronouncing Google Instant "the death of SEO" as we know it. Others, such as Google's own Matt Cutts (in a video response to a question), believe SEO will still be around in five years, and "that's not a bad thing."
Without a doubt, Google Instant will make it easier for search engine users to fine-tune their queries on the fly and find what they're looking for more efficiently. If you've optimized your content to what people are actually looking for, Google Instant should simply help make that content easier to find.
There are potential implications for PPC ads, too, because the ads shown will change as a user types a query. A Google AdWords page explains what Google Instant means for how PPC impressions are counted.
Matt McGee, writing in Search Engine Land, offers a helpful overview of Google Instant. I agree with his conclusions:
* Google Instant won't actually have an impact on a lot of searches. That's because many people do their searches using a Google browser search box. Google Instant doesn't work when a user types a Google in a browser search box or from iGoogle. It only works from the Google home page or from the search box at the top of a Google search results page.
* Some users may actually be slowed down by Google Instant, "as they stop to read and consider all of the predicted queries and search results that are now being displayed automatically," McGee writes. "On the other hand, I do think that it may train some users to be smarter searchers."
So to recap: Google Instant might actually help your SEO efforts, provided you're optimizing for keywords and phrases that people are actively looking for. Search engine users will inevitably get savvier about how to search, which can help you get more targeted, motivated users to your content, instead of someone who stumbled upon it, discovered it wasn't what they wanted, and quickly moved on. And Google Impact isn't going to impact every Google user, at least for now.
Admittedly, I'm still absorbing all the news and coverage, so I reserve the right to change my mind on all of the above. But what do you think? Is Google Instant going to kill SEO, the long-tail, etc. etc.? Or is it simply going to make search engine users savvier--causing search engine marketers to be savvier, too?Tweet