Google Instant has been out for a few months now. And there are anxious SEO departments worrying about how they can get higher search engine ranking for their websites with Google’s new playbook. There are articles being written that Google Instant means the end of SEO and web design as we know it. Is this really true? Of course it isn’t. Let’s take a closer look at how Google Instant changes anything and how we are supposed to take advantage of it for higher search engine ranking.
To begin with, Google clearly states that Instant is just something that speeds things up. It isn’t an all-new algorithm – just a faster version of the same one. This means that as you type a search string, as you type in a word like Bicycles for instance, you’re not going to get special kinds of results in the drop-down for every fragment of a word that you type on. You are just going to get to where you want to a lot sooner. Still, when Google Instant makes suggestions to half-typed words, it could change what searchers were intending to look for to begin with. If for instance you are searching for ‘Trains to New York’and halfway through the typing process you get suggestions for train sets for Christmas, that’s not going to change anything for you – even if the ‘train sets’ result gets higher search engine ranking. But if you get suggestions for trains to Newark, that might change the intent of your search.
When Google Instant goes and changes the very things people are searching for, how do you deal with it? For clients you believe are focused on buying a product from you, you can map out a list of all the keywords you believe they will choose, and all the landing pages that you wish them to land on. You can do a little research by creating traffic reports and baseline ranking and find out how much Google Instant is trying to distract them. When you try to prepare a traffic report for potential buyers early in the buying cycle who are not really focused on your brand yet, you’ll probably see a drop in traffic. If you are losing out on getting a higher search engine ranking with broad topic keywords, you can try SEO strategies to focus the content on your website more strongly to broad topic keywords.