If you keep a tab on the latest Internet trends you must have noticed the hoopla surrounding the new feature Google introduced a couple of days ago. It is called Google Instant. Now when you search on Google the search results are updated as you type in your query. You no longer need to click the search button (although eventually you can click). Even as you type in individual alphabets the search results are updated according to the search string you have entered so far.
Many website owners are apprehensive about this new feature and they fear that it is going to disturb their search engine rankings. Is it really going to happen?
According to Google the latest feature does not affect your search engine rankings, it simply makes it easier for its users to find the information they are looking for by instantly showing the results. This will save people lots of time because they won’t have to enter the entire string and then click the search button.
Search engines after all are more concern for the convenience of their users rather than worrying about the nightmares they unleash upon web masters, bloggers and search engine marketers.
Since Google Instant has no effect on your search engine rankings you shouldn’t worry about that. It may change though, the way people process the information they obtain out of the search. Since they no longer have to type in the complete query they may never end up searching the keywords you might be aiming for. Suppose you have optimized a particular web page for “sizzling seekh kebabs instantly delivered”. You rank at the top for this expression and lap up most of the traffic due to this. But through Google Instant your prospective customers may get distracted while they are typing “sizzling see” or even something shorter.
Similarly if you rank well for “freelance writer in L.A.” you may lose some of your visitors if they find something useful while typing just “freelance writer”. What does this mean?
You will definitely need to appear faster and preferably among the first 5 search results for your important keywords and search phrases. You will need lots of content not only on your own website but also on other websites so that you have enough presence to cover most keyword combinations and consequently appear faster on the search engine result pages.
This new development may also work to your advantage without taking extra steps. Due to immediate processing lots of results will be highlighted that were not previously been shown due to longer queries.
Should you do something? Ideally you should always be doing something in order to remain ahead of the competition: there is so much to be done in terms of staying connected through social media and networking websites, publishing your blog regularly and continuously trying to improve your search engine rankings, irrespective of what features Google or some other search engines introduce. Other than that, if you are not doing much it means you are anyway not proactively promoting your business and hence you should wait and watch. Carefully observe the traffic you are getting and how it is impacting your business. If you are getting more business, well and good. If it hasn’t made much of a difference then too it is good. If it is having an adverse effect then you must take some steps, for instance:
- Evaluate your website for SEO problems
- Analyze your present conversion rate
- Mmake note of what sort of content you have on your website and how it can be improved
- Start exploring other sources of traffic such as submitting your articles to article directories, websites and blogs
- Enhance your presence on social media and social networking websites
- Generate more content on your area of interest and business
- Try to improve your current rankings
- Make a list of alternative keywords that can fetch you traffic
- Stay in touch with your existing customers and clients
Now, I’m not saying that you should follow these steps just because Google has changed the way it displays search results; they should anyway be followed. They will certainly help if Google Instant has affected your search engine traffic, at least from Google.