Today, Google unveiled a brand new search innovation called Google Instant. Google Instant allows the search results to change in real-time, as you search. So the search results actually change while you are typing in your search query.
Google claim that the purpose of Google Instant is to deliver users with faster, dynamic results and provide further predictive suggestion (similar to Google Suggest) to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for.
At time of posting it hasn’t yet made its way to www.google.com.au, but has been implemented on Google.com and Google.co.uk and is expected to arrive in Australia very soon. At the moment Google Instant only works under a limited subset of browesr (mostly the latest versions), and will also not shpow up if you have a low bandwidth internet connection.
So far there does not appear to have been any change to actual rankings – the results from both natural and paid search do not appear to have changed, but it’s going to be interesting to see how Google Instant may impact Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Search strategies.
This release has generated the usual (and predictable) – “OMG – It’s the end of SEO” statements, but of course it isn’t. As long as people rely on search for finding the information they need on the internet, there will always be a need for improving rankings and online visablilty.
In response to the question ““Will Google Instant change search engine optimization?” Matt Cutts has said :
“I think over time it might. The search results will remain the same for a query, but it’s possible that people will learn to search differently over time”
It appears likely that Google Instant will change users search behavior, and this may have an indirect impact on how a site should be optimised. Whilst traditional SEO strategies are unlikley to change overnight, Google Instant may very well introduce other opportunities for website owners to have their site found – and is quite likely to result in new SEO strategies and techniques.
Search Engine Land have published a great article called Google Instant Search: The Complete User’s Guide, which talks about how Google Instant works and their view of how Google Instant may impact rankings.