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Search Engine Optimization with Google Instant

Search Engine Optimization with Google Instant

On the month of November 2010, Google launched Google Instant and most of us were loving it. Other than one of my friend’s facebook status said – “Google, let me finish typing what I am trying to search for.”, everyone else liked it. Yahoo shortly followed suit as well. So we are all in world where we are suggested on what could be best phrases for our searches.

What is Google Instant?

Probably all of you have already noticed Google Instant in action when you are tying for something in Google search bar on its homepage. Basically, Google Instant suggests the most likely key phrases when we are typing for any keyword. This seems to be specially useful if you are searching for a longer phrases rather than 1 or 2 word phrases. Google also claims to have saved lot of time that would have been spent while typing queries, and displays most likely search phrases from its records to better serve its users.

 Features of Google Instant and its Impact on SEO

Before Google Instant
Well, we simply used to type whatever we searching for. In theory, there are numerous ways to search for the same item. Have 5 people search for something on Internet and their key phrases would most likely be different. This results in Long Tail Keywords. For any particular keyword, there are always tens (or sometimes 100s or more) long tail keywords.

After Google Instant
As soon we start to type our keywords, Google Instant suggests most likely searched-upon terms, so now, rather than typing-out the our original phrase, we are quite likely to select one of the closet choices. Since Google Instant predicts the search term as we type and changes the SERP real-time, more than likely no one will quite type the their original key phrase in its entirety. Now, the long tail keyword is practically limited to what Google Instant defines it to be.

Impact of Google Instant on SEO

Google Instant is having some interesting impact on the SEO content writing and optimization. For those who are familiar with Long Tail Keywords, know that generally Long Tail Keywords tend to follow 80/20 rule. Meaning, top 20% of keywords will bring 80% of traffic. Rest of 20% of traffic would come from rest of the long tail keywords made up from the various combinations of primary keywords. In post Google-Instant world, SEO professionals can spend much less time focusing on long tail keywords and simply use the terms provided by Google Instant.

On the other hand, Google Instant also opens more opportunites for optimization in the website. For example, when we type “mortgage”, Google Instant suggests “mortgage calculator, mortgage rates, mortgage payment calculator, mortgage rates” which are slightly different from what we’ve been relying for – google external keyword tool or adwords keyword tool. Now, when your the user is exposed to related keywords, the question is is your website optimized for such related terms? If not, you should.

What this means for SEO professional?

After about a year of observation, we have observed from our Analytics that the long tail keywords traffic has reduced.
So for content writing as well as SEO purposes, it’d make sense to make a note of what Google Instant is suggesting in addition to our usual google keyword research using Google external keyword tool or AdWords tool or any other keyword research methods. Additional focus should go into geo-targeted terms. Related searches get higher importance and should be added to the text-copy and so on.  Finally, special attention should be paid to Local Search and Mobile Search.

Google’s goal is to save user’s time to type however in the process they have also redefined how the keyword research should be done for SEO purposes.

Your thought, experience, comments, questions are welcome below.


About ujjwal

Ujjwal Bhattarai is's Director of Technology, responsible for developing strategy on Web Development, Search Engine Optimization(SEO), and Search Engine Marketing(SEM). His career includes Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing as well as use of Social Media for Business. He self-admits that he is hopelessly addicted to Internet and believes after fire, wheel, and decimal, the internet is the forth most important invention in human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @mountport.

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