Google recently launched Google Instant, a search enhancement that provides a user with live results as they are typing in their query. Many are calling this a revolutionary feature as it is essentially able to predict queries and serve up relevant results even before the user is done entering them. While this is obviously a move on the part of Google to provide a more convenient and efficient experience for the user, not everyone is excited about the update. In fact, there are some SEO managers who are quite concerned about how this could affect their current strategies. This article will explain why there is no need to panic just yet.

Keywords Are Still Important

Most users want to find what they are looking for in a fast, and easy manner. Google Instant could make this possible. The unique thing about this particular feature is that it starts delivering results even after only a few words have been typed in. For this reason, some experts have suggested that SEO managers need to adjust to an optimization strategy that accounts for letter combinations, in addition to keywords in order to keep their traffic flowing. While this is certainly a point to consider, it is not necessarily valid. What the feature does is deliver results based on keywords it believes the user is searching for. Coupled with Google’s statement that no changes have been made to the ranking algorithm, this indicates that keywords are still an important factor SEO managers should focus on.

Specifics Matter

Another topic the SEO community has been discussing is Google Instant’s potential impact on long tail keywords. Because these keywords represent how users often search for content online, some believe that the enhancement will negatively affect their long tail optimization strategy. Google Instant might have an impact in this regard, but the effect will probably be minimal at best. Keep in mind that most people use search engines to find something specific, be it airline tickets to Las Vegas, affordable website hosting services, or tennis shoes for men. So while the urge to click on some of the results that are displayed while typing may be present, users who are dead set on finding what they really want will likely just enter all the relevant terms, and ignore everything else. If this happens across the board, SEO managers will not have to worry too much as long tail keywords will maintain their effectiveness.

Search Advertising Implications

Google Instant could also have implications in the search advertising game. Right now, SEO managers are concerned about the impact it might have on their impressions. These concerns are warranted because if ads change while the user types, it would be impossible for those impressions to be accurately counted. These impressions are critically important to search advertisers as they provide valuable insight into campaign performance. The good thing for managers overseeing the SEO aspects of search advertising is that according to Google, Instant will have little to no impact on impressions or clicks. However, since some users may no longer search through as many pages as they normally would, getting your ads in higher positions could become more important.