Google Instant – A Second Look

Change is good, right? Last week’s rollout of Google Instant was a big one. For those who might have missed it, Google Instant shows suggestions and a list of results as you type letter by letter on the Google search engine. You don’t even have to hit enter. As with most new features in the world of SEO, less than a week into it we have already seen some more changes and some unexpected impacts after the fact. Here are 5 that have caught our attention.

Logging In
When the new feature first came out, you had to be logged in to your Google account to see the Instant search. Not anymore. As long as you are typing in the main search box without changing any settings, you will see and feel its effects.

Opting Out
968820_80216613Not everyone is in love with Google Instant. Many have compared it to talking to someone who never lets you finish your sentences and chimes in uninvited. There are 2 quick options to search without it. A) Use the upper right-hand corner toolbar search box. That one doesn’t do it. B) Turn it off. Opt out by clicking on the right-hand side. Just don’t empty your cookies afterwards, or Instant will come back on your next visit.

Pay-Per Click
This has had a profound effect on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. These are ads typically found at the top and right-hand sides of the search engine results page in the light purple shaded area. Before Google Instant, when someone clicked on an ad, they were delivered to the advertiser’s website. The advertiser would pay each time someone “clicked through” to their site. With Google Instant, an impression is now also generated with a display on the results page after a 3-second pause by the user.

Results Display
The default number of website listings on the Google search engine results page is 10. When you change your settings to 20 or more per page, you will still have Google Instant, but you may not get your 20 results per page. It may give you 10 or 12 instead.

We all make typos from time to time. In fact, some companies target misspelled keywords because it happens more often than you’d think. When you start to type in a misspelling, Google Instant gives you that squiggly red underline that screams TYPO! Instant doesn’t seem interested in offering typos as an option for SEO. It keeps giving you its own preferred version – unless you hit enter.

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