So Google have just announced the launch of their instant search feature but what does it mean for Search Engine Optimisation or SEO?

First up what is Google Instant Search?

Well Instant Search really needs to be seen to be believed and if you are in the USA or are signed into Google and in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia AND using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or IE 8 you will be able to do so anytime from now.

For those who can’t see Instant Search yet, think of Instant Search as all the clever Google Ajax technologies and Ad Words stats etc being combined into a master tool speeding up users queries on average by 2 – 5 seconds per query. Google basically shows you your search results LIVE whilst you type each character so naturally being interested in SEO for both our own projects and client’s what does this mean for SEO as we know it?

Google Instant Search and our thoughts regarding SEO

  • First page results are going to be even more important for getting users using Google Instant Search to your web site.
  • Second page results are going to be for people who really know what they are looking for.
  • With the above in mind, getting in the top 3 or even 2 results is going to be even more important especially for highly competitive keyword terms which will have more sponsored ads at the top of the listings pushing the natural results down the page.
  • You will need to start paying a lot more attention to the Google suggest results in order to see which keywords are more valuable – number of searches via Adwords tools etc is simply not going to be enough to ensure you know what Google thinks it knows about the end user’s queries.
  • Are we going to start to see SEO people targeting 1 and 2 letter combinations to get in the top 3 results for popular queries and if so will Google spot these and remove them?
  • Google’s results look A LOT different on lower resolution screens like netbooks making the top 2 results the most important for these users.
  • How is this going to affect mobile searches when it is rolled out in the coming months?

Google Instant Search SEOWhat can you do now?

  • We would advise going and using Google Instant search using the current search terms that bring you the most traffic now.
  • Check if your site shows up in the top 3 results for the keywords important for you
  • Start thinking about how you can target some of the important keywords that are now showing up around the important keywords your site use and get in touch if you need professional help and advice.

Is SEO as we know it dead?

No and not by a long way but we can see top 3 results becoming even more valued with the roll out of Google Instant Search over the coming months.

What do you think?

Let us know your thoughts on Instant Search below…

UPDATE: Check out this great summary of the work that has gone into the new Google Instant Search