Sara Beaudoin is the Marketing Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems.
The makers of Google are constantly searching for new ways to optimize Google, and they have now launched Google Instant. Google Instant will save 2-5 seconds per search by anticipating what the user is searching for. As a user begins typing a search word or phrase, Google Instant will guess what the user is searching for and immediately show results without the user ever having to click the search button. Google Instant also aims to give users more accurate results. Many marketing companies and businesses are now asking how Google Instant will effect SEO and VSEO.
One change will be in optimizing stem keywords. Google Instant will show a user results before they finish typing their search phrase, so shorter words, a.k.a. stem keywords may be more important in SEO in the near future. For example, say a user wants to find an Italian restaurant near them. The user will start by typing “Italian” and before typing “restaurant in Seattle, WA,” multiple results for Italian restaurants in Seattle will likely have already been found by Google Instant. Therefore, it will be important for Italian restaurants to optimize the word “Italian” alone rather than just optimizing “Italian Restaurant.”
Google Instant will not eliminate a need for long-tail search phrases however. They will still be useful when searching for something specific and it is anticipated that there will still be a large volume of such searches, despite Google’s launch of Google Instant. For example, say the above user is now searching for an Italian restaurant in Seattle, WA with outdoor seating. This is a very specific query and it is very unlikely that Google Instant could predict this search, so the long-tail phrase “Seattle, WA Italian Restaurant with outdoor seating” is still necessary to consider in SEO.
Finally, Google users will have the option of turning Google Instant off if they choose. When Google Instant is shut off, the above changes will not apply, and the old rules of traditional SEO and VSEO apply. Therefore, Google Instant, in turn, may increase the need for more careful and intelligent SEO and VSEO companies.