Predicting Google Instant’s Impact

Andy Clarke Search Engine Optimisation

Due to go live next week ‘Google Instant’ is causing a stir. Google Instant is initially being rolled out in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, France and Russia. It works by predicting a users search query in a similar way to text prediction on mobile phones. So while Google are hailing it as the next big thing, we need to understand how this will affect PPC and SEO campaigns.


Google, obviously keen to reassert itself as the big player following Bing’s release and recent success, have obviously made a big deal of the new development. Google estimates that users spend 9 seconds entering a search query and 15 seconds looking at the results. By predicting search entries Google Instant could shave between two and five seconds off this.

But what does it actually mean?

Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent for BBC News has gone as far as saying that the advance is ‘causing something close to panic in an important, if obscure, industry called search engine optimisation or SEO’. This is not a view shared at the Miromedia office. But it is fair to say that the rules of the game may have changed slightly.

Instant could have quite an impact on PPC advertising for example. Up until now advertisers have actively bid on spelling mistakes of keywords to capture cheaper ads directed at common misspellings like ‘womens pijamas’ or ‘sheduling software’. With the reduction of spelling errors as relevant keywords to bid on, correctly spelt keywords will become more competitive.

But I think PPC’s loss could be SEOs gain. We would for example never use common misspellings as viable keywords to be optimised on our Clients web pages?

Above all, it seems to me that Google are taking a massive gamble. Saving a few seconds is not important to me, I want ‘relevant’ results. A predicting Google is simply going to return non relevant results.

Like someone rude who butts in and finishes your sentences for you!