Google Instant at SMX East and Google Instant Does Not Kill SEO

Earlier this month Giselle and I headed to New York City for the SMX East conference. We both us learned a lot and met some great people in the industry. The sessions that I attended were informative and all of the speakers shared valuable knowledge.

One particular session that I want to discussed Google Instant and its impact on both SEO and users. The speakers at the session included Othar Hansson, Google Senior Staff Software Engineer, Ian Everdell, a usability consultant from Enquiro Search Solutions, and Eli Feldblum the CTO & co-founder at RankAbove.

According to Othar, the main focus of Instant is to make search faster than ever before. Here are some key facts that Othar presented Best Digital Marketing Company Name Ideas:

The average query in English takes 9 seconds to enter and 15 seconds to scan the SERP’s.
Impression is counted when there is a 3 second pause on the SERP – impressions will increase, but clicks remain the same.
The results shown are for the predicted query, not what you have typed.
Instant is present in the US and 6 European countries, but will be global soon.
Users are still searching for good content – that has not changed.
As a usability consultant, Ian Everdell from Enquiro was able to offer a unique perspective of Instant and how it affects users:

Instant saves 2-5 seconds per search.
Users are now looking further down the SERP’s than ever before.
Majority of users surveyed think Instant is ‘ok’ ( > 25%).
About 65% of users surveyed do not think that Instant changed how they search.
83% of users surveyed say the length of their queries has not changed.
Eli Fledblum from RankAbove offered a few interesting points:

Instant’s predictions have pushed more results below the fold.
Despite the change in location, results 5-10 have experienced the most growth.
Video results are up 28% across the board (use rich media to attract users).
It is important to investigate how your site traffic has changed, if at all.
Google Instant has been live for 45 days (as of 10/21/10) and those in the SEO industry are still unsure about how it will affect the way they work. I am glad that I was able to attend this session as each speaker brought up great points about Google Instant and SEO. Hopefully, those in the industry will feel better after reading what was said at SMX. I found it comforting to know that Instant is NOT the end of SEO! and Digital Marketing Company Name Ideas

In case you haven’t heard, Google Instant has made a quite an impact on the world of search since its launch last week. It has lit the SEO world on fire with questions such as:

• How will this impact my rankings?
• Will Adwords count impressions the same way?
• What if users no longer look past page 2 of SERP’s?

Of course, the biggest question last week, and the one on everyone’s minds, is: Will Google Instant kill SEO?

In simple terms: No, no, and NO! SEO is not going anywhere.

The fact that Google Instant completes a search before a user has finished typing his/her query does not harm SEO at all. Above all else, search engine marketers need to consider who the audience is and how they search. Yes, this new interface may change the way that users search, and as search engine marketers, we need to evolve with them. There is no set list of tactics that we need to implement right now. There are SEO tactics that continue to hold true such as on page optimization, article distribution, link development, etc.

Many have argued that SEO is now irrelevant because Google Instant supplies highly personal results but Google has been giving users personalized results since 2005, so that is nothing new. Google Instant is actually going to be a great tool for SEO. It provides valuable information on what users are searching for such as local weather, super brands (i.e. Best Buy), etc.

As search engine marketers we still influence the results users get for their queries. As we learn more about Instant and what it has to offer, people see ways that Instant showcases good SEO tactics and fundamentals.

What are your thoughts on SEO and Instant?

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