How Google Instant Affects SEO and PPC
I have been watching the launch of Google Instant and keeping a tab on the updates and predictions on the web, based on what I see here are few points on how Google Instant would affect SEO and PPC.
How Google Instant Affects Adwords
- The number of impressions are going to increase – Google now considers an impression if the visitor is on the same page view for 3 seconds or more – this would be pretty common as visitors would tend to scan through the changing results as they type and also there are slow typers for whom typing a search query with some long words are going to take time. In addition the regular impression count as we used to get based on when the user hits enter or clicks through to some other page would be accounted for.
- As an effect of the above point, we are likely to see a higher CPC – with more number of impressions happening on the go the click through rate is likely to go down. Once the CTR is down that would adversely affect quality score and to offset that we will likely have to increase CPC.
- Broad keywords would become more important, importance of long tail would be reduced – As we start typing Google starts showing results, as an example- if we consider the query “iPhone Application Developer” – when the user starts typing iPhone Google starts showing relevant ads about iPhone, the user types “app” the results change a little and focus more on iPhone apps and developers and finally if the user completes the query and hits enter Google shows the most relevant set of iPhone application development ads. Now, it would be a clear benefit for a advertiser trying to get traffic from the final keyword to be visible right when the user has typed in the first word of the search phrase( in this case , iPhone) – because if the user can see the relevant result right after typing the first word he is more likely to click through to it rather than completing the full query.
This would mean the advertisers would need to spend more on broad keywords ( making it difficult for smaller companies). Again in doing that, in most cases the broad keywords might not be the most relevant one’s for you – so you tend to receive a bunch of un-targeted click and also the broad keywords would likely have lower level of relevancy, in turn affecting quality score and CPC.
How Google Instant Affects SEO
- On SEO front while there is no major shift in the algorithm or ranking factors with Google instant, it would definitely affect the traffic from organic searches. As Google starts to show results on the go, the top three positions would become more important than ever as many searchers would click through to the site once they see the relevant results . Most of them would not bother to scroll down the first page unless they complete the query and in case of a multiphrase search query it is likely that they might find their answers even before completing the query.
However, one of the factors that we always hated Google for might now come to our advantage in some industries. Google has always listed the most authoritative sites on top – taking the example of the previous query “iPhone application development” the above the fold positions are mostly taken by Apple website who is not a direct competitor to the companies trying to sell iPhone development service – hereby forcing the visitors to scroll down. I would also presume, because users would not be able to find the exact type of results as they type the query, chances of them completing the query is much higher in some industries like this ( unless they click through to paid search results) compared to various other industries, in which case they are likely to scroll through the entire search result page.
- In long run however the importance of long tail keywords are likely to be reinstated because with this predictive search query inputs and instantly changing results, users would get more knowledgeable on how to search , and which queries can get them the most relevant results and this is likely to initiate more long tail searches.
I think it is too early to predict exactly how Google Instant would change SEO and PPC but apparently it seems this would mean more Adwords spend for advertisers and a tougher competition on the SEO domain.
Feel free to share your thoughts and inputs on how you think Google Instant’s effect on SEO and PPC.