Google Instant – Is this the end of SEO ?

In a word – NO

If you are reading this post, then you are obviously aware of the huge change that Google announced yesterday – Google Instant (link here to the live release)

seo is dead

Over the last 24 hours, I have witnessed so many tweets, forums posts, and blog posts already speculating what ‘Google instant’ means for them, and their websites.

I have to be totally honest, when I first saw it, I thought “Shit! SEO is dead” but the more I am playing with it and thinking about the whole setup, I am actually realising that it has some major Pros and is not just some Cons.

The 2 main points / statements I have witnessed over the last 24 hours are:

“Oh this is ok, it is only temporary”

It is NOT temporary and it is here to stay, so the sooner you embrace it and accept it, the better – denial gets you nowhere.

 “It’s ok as this can be switched off easy enough”

Yes that is right, it can. BUT average Joe won’t switch it off as:

1. They won’t know how to. The majority of average Joe’s, don’t even know how to change their homepage. Are you targeting other SEO savvy people OR average Joe with your website?

2. They don’t care enough for it to matter, as long as they find what they are looking for

It isn’t all doom and gloom though yet. Let me just point out a couple of things though to hopefully put your mind at rest.

SEO’s and other people who are reading this post are not thinking like average Joe’s either – they have a tarnished view of how they “think” average Joe’s search the internet.

Let me give you an example.

Fred is looking for “secured loans” He starts typing sec (and on his screen it is already displaying results – but these are not related to secured loans yet)

He then adds the u (so he has now typed secu) and now it is showing drastically different results, but still not related to secured loans.

He then adds the r (so he has now typed secur) and yet again the results have changed again, but STILL not showing results for secured loans.

He then adds the e (he has now typed secure) and sure enough, the results for secured loans are now showing.

So Fred stops there and clicks one of the search results, right ? WRONG ! WE know that Google has been showing different results for every additional letter that Fred types, but Fred hasn’t seen them or noticed, as he is an average internet / keyboard user.  When most people type (over 95% in my opinion) they look at the keyboard when typing and NOT the screen.

Do you truly believe that Fred is going to type one letter at a time, and then look at the screen after each letter, and keep typing additional letters until his results show up ? No he isn’t – Fred will just type what he is looking for “secured loans” and then look up at his screen to see the results.

SEO’s seem to give average joe’s alot more credit than they are actual due – they are not SEO savvy and do not care about search results order – you do !

And for that reason, I will only start to worry about Google Instant, when Google start giving out free touch type lessons to every member of the general public.

I will be writing a better blog post in a short while, once the dust has settled and Google instant has been around for a while, so check back for another update soon.

8 Responses to “Google Instant – Is this the end of SEO ?”

  1. Tweets that mention Google Instant – Is this the end of SEO ? | fwitter - not facebook or twitter just Frank Pauls ramblings -- Topsy.com  on September 9th, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Clarkson, frank paul. frank paul said: My view on Google instant : http://www.fwitter.co.uk/google-instant-is-this-the-end-of-seo/ [...]

  2. johnnyratcliffe  on September 9th, 2010

    Hi Frank, I can’t see the big beef with it – what are people SEO’ing their sites for? a keyword? Yes. So, if you have been using exact terms (or at least terms generated and backed up by the GKT) for sites then these surely are the same as what G predicts you want anyway? This new way just channels more people into the predicted terms… time to resharpen the pencils and enjoy even more traffic if you get it right!

  3. Edo  on September 9th, 2010

    Hi Frank. Agreed it’s not temporary and most users will still type the full phrase. What I think will have a big effect on SEO, though, is the measly number of listings now above the fold. If you don’t get in the top 4, you look to be screwed. Google seem to me to be slowly going down the route of Alta Vista and the like in the 1990s and satisfying themselves and their advertisers over the average punter. For the first time I’m starting to think Bing and Yahoo could take some meaty bites out of Google’s 90% UK market share. Be interested to hear what you think. Cheers, Ed.

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