Google Instant: SEO is More Crucial than Ever
There’s been a lot of controversy over Google’s big change yesterday, Google Instant. The
entire SEO industry seems to be torn over whether this constitutes the “death of SEO” or a
major industry shakeup to which SEOs will have to adapt.
So, why are many SEOs jumping ship and clamoring for another profession now that their
livelihood is “dead?”
From what I can gather, many are afraid that users will now never enter the same longtail
phrases that have become a staple of the SEO industry. As Google provides feedback while
you enter your search query, ship-jumpers claim that users will abandon or alter their queries
based on this feedback.
Here’s the problem with that. Searchers know what they are going to type before they begin
typing it. Seeing feedback doesn’t alter your query. It merely saves you time. Google guesses
what you are searching for and displays results as you type. This saves you time in two ways:
1. You don’t have to finish typing your query.
Google guesses what you’re trying to type and displays results of the most likely finalized query. If you are searching for “dog food companies” you actually only have to type “dog food company” before Google displays the results for “dog food companies.” This does NOT mean that you should try to rank for the keyword “dog food company.” It just means that Google knows the probability that you’re searching for “dog food companies” after you type “dog food compan” is very high. It saves you three keystrokes, which can add up when millions of users are saving three keystrokes every day, multiple times a day.
2. You don’t have to hit “enter” and wait for the results page to load (or take your hand off
the keyboard, put it on your mouse, navigate the mouse to the “search” button and click
“search,” then wait for the page to load). The loading is done as you type, which is an effective
use of multi-tasking by Google to accomplish the same result in less time. It’s like putting your
clothes in the washing machine at the same time as your dishes are in the dishwasher as
opposed to waiting until the dishes are done to put your clothes in the washing machine. Your
productivity doubles and time is saved, even if only a few seconds. Again, when scaled up to
the amount of users querying Google every day, this probably does translate to billions of
minutes saved, as Google claims.
So, why does this make SEO more crucial than ever? Because Google just made itself better. A
lot better. It just made itself an even more viable tool for finding information, which means it’s
going to capture market share from Bing/Yahoo. This means potential clients are searching on
Google for companies with solutions to their problems. If your company can’t be found, you
might as well be invisible.
Google Instant doesn’t kill SEO. On the contrary, it makes it even more valuable than before.