It’s been a little over a month now since the release of Google Instant. While it’s still pretty early on in the process to draw any concrete conclusions as to how Instant may fully impact a site’s presence within Google in the long run, one thing most webmasters seem to agree on is that the biggest impact may be in search behavior.
Users who once performed multiple searches to find exactly what they were looking for may be cutting back on their number of searchers, because Instant presents them with a lot more options to choose from as they type a single search. With this thought in mind, it’s important for sites to be ready for this change in search behavior, because it may account for a change in their optimization strategy.
Again, it’s still pretty early on in the game, so there’s no need to make any rash decisions regarding your current optimization strategy. Especially since Google has stated that the change to Instant will “not impact the rankings of search results”.
But, as I said above, thinking in terms of search behavior—users’ reaction to Instant search results may change the way they search. Instant is all about making search faster for the user. This means that as a user types and Instant’s search results are flashing by on the screen, it’s more important than ever for sites to stand out in the mere seconds that they may appear in the results.
While presenting relevant, useful and attention-grabbing search results for your site and brand is nothing new to an SEO strategy, it is likely going to play an even larger role as Instant becomes more ingrained in how Google users search the web. Are you prepared?