Google Instant and You!

computer chickThere’s plenty of buzz – both positive and negative – about the new Google Instant (it launched September 8th). To experience Google Instant, you have to go to, not your browser’s tool bar, and perform a search.

For some time now, Google has “auto-completed” what we enter, provided it had some relevant search data pertinent to what we are typing. Well, Google Instant goes one step further and offers up complete search results, editorial and paid, as you type.

When we type an “a,” we get AOL, Amazon, Apple and Amtrak as immediate results. We typed “simon gro” and The Simon Group came up third in the search engine result page (SERP, as a search maven would say). Try it on yourself and see what happens.

We have two concerns with this regarding our clients’ online marketing programs – both for paid and organic search.

Number one: for those with Google AdWords programs, this is going to dramatically increase the number of impressions keywords receive. Impressions are how Google determines cost. As a search string is entered, different AdWords ads are going to be displayed. You can try this yourself as well.

Type in “digital,” then a space, then different letters, like “c” (camera), “s” (scanner) or “i” (imaging). The ads change. Our concern here is the quality of the impression advertisers are getting. Will Google users be looking at the ads as they type in their search strings? We truly hope these new statistics do not impact cost, and we’ll be watching it closely.

Number two: When we type in “compactpci” (if you know The Simon Group, you know why we would), and then spell out “rugged” one letter at a time, the top ranked site only appears on the SERP when the entire word is complete, while plenty of the results for “compactpci ru” are relevant to “compactpci rugged.”

We’re actually in contact with Google to find out, but our feeling is some of the more niche markets, like embedded computing, were not included as not part of the initial Google Instant roll out.

Knowing these nuances enables us to use these tools effectively for our clients, and even question how they affect our clients specifically.

As always, we will be watching and giving our best advice to our clients. Happy searching!

Editor’s note: upon trying this on a Mac with Safari, we did not see instant search results returned. This is all based on Windows IE and Firefox.

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