What makes an internet guru can’t help crying somewhere in a dark corner right now? Was he prohibited from World of Warcraft? No, it’s Google’s decision to roll out its novel immediate search function that makes this happens. This action has widespread and deep influence, even becomes cataclysmic for many small enterprises and online advertising. Yet, almost everything appear to be at its normality but just for a short time more.
Google Instant is the latest in a long line of Googley products that is intent on increasing productivity and creating more efficient search results. So how is it different than before you ask? Well, Google instant search will show your search results live…right as you type. Think of it like a giant status update as you type, showing the latest and greatest stream of search results for every extra letter you type. No need to scroll. No need to hit enter. As one Google executive put it “It’s search before you type”. Welcome to the newest form of Google Laziness.
How does this change things? Well, for many it will show the most relevant results for finding what you want. The question is, does it show what you want or what people have paid Google to show? For most of the keywords I type in that have any commercial value, the first 3-5 organic search results show while the rest of the screen is devoted to paid ads with Google AdWords. Thus, I will now determine relevancy based on the top 3 results and what someone has paid oodles of money to put in front of me. The problem with this is that there will a mad scramble to buy the main keywords for Pay Per Click (Pay Per Click), meaning the marketing campaigns of many online businesses just doubled. Some would argue that this kills the value of long tail keywords. Rather than long tail keyword suggestions being shown, it shows results as you type. No more long tail keywords. For instance, let’s say you want to get a Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. You start typing in Scottsdale…and before you can finish there are search results for paid ads for hotels in Scottsdale. So what you say? Most may invariably assume that the first search result that vaguely resembles what they are looking for will be correct and click on it.
So who is the real winner? Businesses that have enough money to throw at Pay Per Click. The small mom and pop stores that were able to buy pay per click keywords before will be competing with Amazon, eBay, and the other giant retailers. You now have no other way than either to bid super high on keywords on Google AdWords or do SEO for the most difficult keywords (generic terms). Paid Ads will have to be optimized to stand out, as search results are now moving so fast that you can only be relevant if you stand out. People that are typing just a word or two will now look up at the screen and safely assume that what Google is suggesting is relevant…ding ding ding ding ding – the “ooh shiny” effect. These results will change over time as well, as no one will see the same web anymore. Results will change based on consumer behavior, giving you personalized search results every time you search….except for those who have paid a hefty price to keep their ads consistent.
Leaving optimization and advertising out of it for a moment, this actually pretty awesome from the search standpoint. From an advertiser standpoint however, this is going to empty the wallets of some and line the pockets of others. Time will tell.
I am an Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer and an Internet Law Attorney