Google is always changing and this is why those in SEO (search engine optimisation) need to keep ahead of changes, or we can see our sites plummet in rankings overnight. Google Instant has been in operation for some time, and it is a feature of Google Search that allows Google to predict what you are searching for. We need to have a fast Internet connection for it to start, and in most cases, it will start by itself. Google Instant can affect search results, and can greatly influence what a user is looking for. There are many who still do not understand Google Instant, and naturally, how that influences the way we come up in search. This article looks at some of the pros and cons of Google Instant, particularly in relevance to search optimisation and a user experience.
- What is Google Instant? Google Instant tries to predict what you are searching for before you type. You enter in a word or two, and Google starts throwing up options automatically. This can greatly influence what you thought you were going to enter in the first place. Actually, the results come from what others have searched for using your same word combinations. At the same time Google tries to predict the words you are going to enter into the search window, it also throws up those search results. This can mean we see results before we having finished actually typing what we intended.
- User Influence. There is a lot we work on when building links and pushing our online presence that involves a step-by-step process of building content and relationships to get particular results. With Google Instant, a user can be heavily influenced at the time of search, and not afterwards as we are hoping with our optimisation and other marketing activities. It is easy to dismiss the ability of Google Instant, but as a user, it is quite impressive, especially in how it aids one when trying to search for particular information. We might not have known how we should approach a particular search, and Google Instant turns into Google Assistant.
- Benefits for Google. As a user I am very happy to use Google Instant. I see this is the case with many other users of Google Instant. Many users already expect it to be available when they are searching. More than predictive, it helps a user to use Google. This leads to further loyalty as those who get used to it, do not have similar options on other search engines.
- Managing Keywords and Understanding Influence of Instant. If we consider that certain terms will be greatly influenced, and others not so much, we can see that some websites might actually be greatly influenced because of the keywords related to them. If it just so happens your keywords, for example, become a part of that predictive text, then it is more likely you will come up more regularly during those pre-emptive searches. Calculating this in advance will become a little complex, as the predictive text will also be changing based on what is being searched for more at a particular time.
While Google Instant is still relatively new, it is worth understanding as a user. This will help us understand what influence it will play on our own website design, keyword management and online marketing strategies. For the time being, we should not stray from our step-by-step strategy of building appropriate and good content to bring relevance to our website. Trying to bend changes for something that is constantly changing is like a dog chasing its tail. Google Instant has now grown to include images, and other important search tool for many users.