Google adds instant caffeine to the mix

Whoah! Google say this on their new Google Instant service:

“Feelings of euphoria and weightlessness are normal. Do not be alarmed”

And are they ever right. No TV campaign. No fanfare. Just another amazing enhancement to Search called Google Instant which, in a nutshell, shows instant search results (including PPC ads) as you type based on their finding that searchers read faster than they type.
Take a look here for full details.
What does this mean for impressions and CTR and therefore adwords costs?
What does this do to long tail search? This is what Matt Cutts says on his blog:
“The search results will remain the same for a query, but it’s possible that people will learn to search differently over time. For example, I was recently researching a congressperson. With Google Instant, it was more visible to me that this congressperson had proposed an energy plan, so I refined my search to learn more, and quickly found myself reading a post on the congressperson’s blog that had been on page 2 of the search results.”
They say “The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.”
So they’ve saved us all the hassle of clicking a button. Which apparently will save 2-5 seconds per search. As one commentator sagely put it on youtube:

“i didnt have to press enter?

Here’s the offending video (complete with patronising-geek-voice):

Also: “Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.”
Does this mean that Instant will reduce the total number of keywords in a market because it will be making predictions based on what you type and therefore “train” the search market to use the keywords Google tells you are likely to get you better results, or more relevant results based on other peoples’ search behaviour?
It seems that this will reduce the long tail opportunity for internet marketers, although I do take on board Matt’s points and am less pessimisitic about this than some other blog posts I’ve read today.
The question to me really is: what criteria are they using for the order in which to put the predictive results? My colleague suggested this could be based on search volume, but what if the criteria is based on income potential to Google?
Hmmmmm. Dark?
Especially as it seems that an impression will now be counted after 3 seconds. Surely this will reduce CTR (cost per click) which will increase CPC (costs per click) across the board?
What do you think?
Ultimately, this is another major feat of engineering and if you can avoid being cynical about Google allows search to be even easier and more accessible to tempt all those internet dwellers that have never ventured outside the looming walls of Facebook to take a peek.
As far as internet marketing is concerned, I believe it’s business as usual – just stick to producing quality valuable content and you’ll be just fine 🙂
P.S. Google instant also gives me a good excuse to get Bob Dylan on the blog…

The founder of Attwood Digital, Mark is a digital marketing veteran having been working online since before the dotcom boom. He created the world's first online skip hire service in 2003, has created multiple online courses, lectured on digital marketing and even written a book on the subject. He is also an ICO advisor and crypto-enthusiast.
  1. Blimey…this really does affect us!
    We need to be absolutely sure we are top for the set of keywords that google is selecting for our best performing keywords!

  2. hmmmm, this is interesting. Do searchers really need results even quicker than they’re getting them now, when searching, is a fraction of a second really going to affect them? I’m not so sure

  3. Yes it will train people to type their keywords in an order so you start with the big keyword and further refine it. This has got to be a lesson for our web SEO.
    One of our optimised keywords is ‘acne treatment manchester’
    Try searching this way: type ‘acne t’ – then click ‘acne treatment’from Instants suggestions – type an ‘ m’ – then click ‘acne treatment manchester’. Bingo! You find our listing after just 10 keystrokes/ clicks
    Now try doing the same thing with ‘manchester acne treatment’: you type ‘man’ – then click ‘manchester’ – type ‘ acne treatment’ – no more Instants suggestions!. – 19 keystrokes/ clicks!
    (Pleased to say we’re No. 1 out of 790,000 results! :))

  4. What do I think?
    As an internet marketer, I guess fresh, relevant content is just as key to those of us on the receiving end of this.
    As a consumer, I suspect that this may get on my nerves, just as my iphone does when it predicts what I want to type next and I end up sending people weird messages.
    As a woman…come on. Nobody has ever been able to predict in an instant what women want – not even Google 🙂

    1. Brilliant! Thanks Suzanne

  5. Scary or exciting??
    We dropped from 1st page to 3rd page with the last Google upgrade that valued backlinks more than keyword phrase content, we got caught with our pants down.
    What is this going to do?? Does content become king again or is this pushing further into backlink territory??
    Business made or broken at the speed of thought!!
    How much “weight” is Google taking from Facebook/MySpace ‘chat’ to determine what is hot for that search term??
    It may tick the currency box but does it also tick the relevancy box??

    1. Backlinks will always be super important – they are exponentially more powerful if you’ve got the on-page SEO content right, which is why quality content is soooo important. But, yes, backlinks of all varieties remain the no. 1 SEO factor. This is why I mess with the page title of the homepage of this blog, to prove that it can rank at no.1 for keywords that are not actually in the title (like “internet marketing expert“, for example).

  6. Thank you Google! We needed a little more caffeine in our searches!

  7. Although its a sort of problem for SEO but for the common surfers this is a blessing or one can say another step into making them useless and lazy. lolz!

  8. I think a lot of people are going to suffer because of this. Some websites will benefit but the website that focus on the long tail keywords will lose.

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