Posts from date: September 2010
With Google fast becoming synonymous with the word ‘instant’, and the list of spin offs ever growing, what better time to give you an update on our favourite search engine and what the future of real time results holds for advertisers and searchers alike.
Launching last week, Google Instant helps users find information faster by showing relevant results as a query is typed. As a user starts to type a search, Google Instant automatically shows results for a popular search that begins with those letters.
Although Google Instant won't change the way ads are served, ads and search results will now be shown for a new "predicted query." This has led to a change in the way Google counts impressions, with the addition of impressions being counted outside of the norm when a user stops typing for three seconds or clicks anywhere on the predicted results page. This has implications for paid search advertisers, with an anticipated shift in impression volumes on certain keywords and lower overall click through rates. However, the shift is not expected to affect paid ad quality scores as these are derived from the industry norm.
On a slightly less consolatory note, Google now has the power to lead searchers, being able to push them down routes which can be as basic as typing in "hotel" and Google automatically producing results for "hotels" or typing in "broadband" and retuning results for "broadband speed test". This means that there will probably be a reduction in the number of keywords receiving traffic, allowing Google to push competition on certain keywords.
There is also scope for Google to be brand biased, for example, just typing in “a” produces results for “argos” with “amazon” coming in second, and this could force brands to bid competitively on other brands so that they have a presence on the initial results page.
The new results page has not yet triggered a game change in search engine marketing strategy with many industries sticking to their guns in an almost gentlemanly way and the feature being largely dependent on the user’s ability to touch type. However, with Google’s latest release focusing consumer attention and making “instant” celebrities of future developments such as YouTube Instant, iTunes Instant and Instant Mobile Search, the impact of real time results on the online world is yet unclear.