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What does Google Instant mean for SEO?

Posted by in SEO

After the frenzy the news of Google Instant being released in the US whipped up the other week, a number of my clients have been asking about what effects on SEO this change will bring.

To summarise, SEO as a strategy for generating traffic and building online presence will not be majorly affected. Google search still needs to provide relevant websites for users and will be continuing to use their powerful algorithm to calculate those results. The functionality of Google Instant means that user behaviour is what is most likely to be affected – not how SEO is practised.

Matt Cutts, Google representative who specialises in search engine optimisation issues, had this to say in response to the question, ‘Will Google Instant change search engine optimization?’:

“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. For example, I was recently researching a congressperson. With Google Instant, it was more visible to me that this congressperson had proposed an energy plan, so I refined my search to learn more, and quickly found myself reading a post on the congressperson’s blog that had been on page 2 of the search results.”

Ben Parr of Mashable asked the Google team the same question at a Google Instant presentation. Google’s response: “Ranking stays the same.” While emphasis was repeated that user search behaviour may change over time, Google was quick to reassure that nothing fundamental about SEO would change in the forseeable future.

At this stage, if you are asking yourself whether you need to change your online strategy because of this development, then the answer is no. Google Instant is a big change and in the future it will definitely impact on how users browse the web. The online marketer writing this post recommends you stay alert and be ready to move with the shift when it occurs. But don’t get caught up in the hype or fright that tends to occur when Google announces a change.

For more info, check out this blog post, Google Instant – 10 Things marketing Teams Need to Know.

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