Google Instant: SEO More Important than Ever
Google recently introduced its newest product: Google Instant. If you haven’t been exposed to it yet, go to google.com and type in a letter (any letter of the alphabet) in the Google search bar and Google will automatically suggest search results for you.
This is a pretty nifty trick that not only teaches users to become more savvy with their search terms and saves users time with their queries (Google Instant saves users an average of 2 – 5 seconds per search—it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does add up) but what about the businesses relying on their SEO strategy to manage their search rankings? What about your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising? How does Google Instant affect these aspects of your overall marketing plan?
We are still in the early stages of Google Instant and marketing companies are still testing results and what changes have been made but the general consensus is that the changes that will most greatly affect your current SEO strategy are two fold: the short-tail search term will begin to dominate Google searches and the cost of Pay Per Click terms will go up.
Short Tail vs. Long Tail and PPC:
Enter a search term into Google, say “refrigeration repair”. Google will round out your query for you and return results. This is called a “short tail” search term. If you typed in something more specific, say “Al’s Refrigeration Repair Austin, TX” (“long tail” search terms) your search results would be narrowed down to include all of those key words and would probably direct you directly to Al’s website.
But unless customers know that Al has a Refrigeration repair shop in Austin, TX, Al’s company probably won’t be one of the top results Google returns on Google Instant. So how does Al increase is search rankings to stay ahead of competition if Google Instant is going to be encouraging the short tail search query model?
Al will firstly need to optimize his existing website for SEO and SEM by taking advantage of proven SEO tactics so Google’s search engine crawlers can grab hold of as much meta data as possible on Al’s site. Al will then have to reevaluate the key words he pays for with Google keywords. Usually a good scrub of your keywords was recommended annually, but some experts are now recommending once a quarter due to the recent changes. Because Google Instant encourages users to rely on the results they return, SEO experts anticipate that users will begin to stop looking for results further than the top three results returned by Google Instant.
This also affects PPC in that users now will not be looking down the first page as far as they once did. The top three results in Google Adwords has just become a more coveted piece of real estate than ever, meaning that the bidding war for ad words will most certainly go up.
Al will need to engage in a few things in order to make sure new customers can still locate him on the web: enhanced current SEO practices and refining and polishing his existing Adwords.
We still don’t know the full impact of Google Instant, but by taking the right steps now, you and Al can ensure that the valuable web real estate he spent years cultivating won’t be lost due to changing practices.
Visit us online at www.chiaroscuroconcepts.com to see about customizing a solution that’s right for you.