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Could Google Instant Change SEO… Again?

As all Search Engine Optimizers know, the world of SEO can change on a daily basis creating challenges, but also keeping the job interesting. The newest challenge comes from Google in the form of Google Instant. The buzz is spreading like wildfire about this breakthrough technology that was so sneakily unleashed by Google. Let’s check out what Google Instant is, how it affects those searching the internet and how it could affect Search Engine Optimization practices.

Google Instant went live on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 proving, once again, that Google is ahead of the game when it comes to online search. (Yahoo and Bing haven’t even mentioned touching this technology yet, only time will tell if they adopt something similar.) This new innovation will give the searcher real time results as letters and words are typed in the search box. Google sums it up on the Google Instant page:

“Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster…This means that you can scan a results page while you type.”

In addition to the real time results, Google will offer real time suggestions while the user types. These suggestions will show up in order of popularity.

Of course this is exciting news for all those searchers who hate waiting for a page to load after entering a search string then having to search for a different term if they can’t find what they’re looking for. (But doesn’t that include most internet users already?)

Because there is so much data available, it has become difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for in one search. With Google Instant, all you have to do is press the backspace key, begin re-typing a new term, and watch as the updated search results appear instantly on your screen. With these instant results, an average user will now save 2 to 5 seconds per search. Cool!

Now, what about SEO? Since its launch, Google Instant has drummed up numerous speculations from the online marketing community regarding the implications of the new search feature. Some argue that Search Engine Optimization is dead while others disagree saying this statement is too extreme and SEO practices will merely change…as they always do.

Yes, Google Instant may suggest searches that don’t match what you have optimized your website for. Yes, this may mean people will click on these popular suggestions without searching for your term. This doesn’t mean SEO is dead. However, practices may have to change and new terms may have to be optimized for.

It is important to remember that this new way of search doesn’t affect Google rankings. In fact, there is a Q&A section on the Google Instant webpage which contains the following question and answer:

“Q: Does this change impact the ranking of search results?

A: No, this change does not impact the ranking of search results.”

Instead of fearing Google Instant, SEOs should embrace it and learn to use it to their advantage. There are many elements to SEO; creating valuable content, link building, website promotion, on page optimization, etc. and the Google SEO algorithm is still in use. All of these elements cannot be tossed aside and be considered “dead” because a new way of search has emerged. Over time, Search Engine Optimizers will learn (as they always do) to adapt to this change.

About Amanda Broughton

Amanda Broughton has experience creating and executing digital marketing strategies for a number of diverse businesses and industries. She enjoys every aspect of online marketing from SEO to social media. Based in Wixom, Mich., Biznet Digital is a full-service Web solutions company, focusing on business and mobile Websites, advertising agency support and Internet marketing, including search and social media marketing.