Ever since the launch of Google Instant in September 2010, digital marketing professionals and advertisers have been worried if the addition of the new feature will affect their digital marketing campaigns or not. Google has responded to market queries by saying that Google Instant involves no change to the search algorithm, which determines the rankings of sites for a particular keyword. Rather, it is just a feature that enables people to run a search in a faster way. After conducting various tests on Google, most digital marketing professionals have learnt that Google’s statements are true, and that Instant does not affect listings in any perceivable way.
Immediately after Instant was launched, many digital marketing professionals referred to it as the ‘death of SEO as we know it’, thinking that the quickly changing results would add a new dimension to SEO. However, this was later found to be untrue, as with Instant it is not the search algorithm that changes, but the behaviour of searchers who are using the feature. This makes it even more important for digital marketing experts to garner prominent placements in the search listings, as users are more likely to scan results that appear above the fold than those at the bottom of the page.
Many digital marketing experts thought that Instant could become more costly from a paid-for-search perspective. As impressions would constantly grow until a user ultimately clicks on a link to select the website they would like to visit, they expected to be charged for those impressions. However, Google has reassured the digital marketing community by stating that only advertisements displayed for a minimum of three seconds, or clicked upon, will be counted and charged for.
Intrinsically, all changes that are made to impression volumes and counting methodology, are expected to have an impact on click-through-ratio (CTR) and Quality Score. These two metrics are very important for the Google AdWords algorithm that determines the position of websites in the rankings. Currently, digital marketing professionals will have to wait and watch if these metrics have an impact on their campaigns, and advertiser revenue.
Summarizing the above, Google Instant is quite different from other products launched by Google. It is more about creating a better search experience for the consumer, rather than changing the method by which search results are defined. When more results are displayed to searchers, the complexity of search increases, which creates more work for digital marketing experts. However, this does not have to be the end of SEO, instead it is a new beginning, where advertisers who adapt to the changes will find new ways to increase their performances.
Qudos Digital is a leading digital marketing agency, and can be contacted on 0845 388 5583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.