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Google Instant Search – the beginning of the end for the Long Tail?

With the introduction of Google Instant Search, Google has significantly changed the search world once more. This development will not only bring users to their goal quicker, but will also likely generate more revenue for Google and lead to a shorter Long Tail.

As a user types in their search phrase, Google displays matching search results on the basis of the submitted keywords. This creates many new result pages that are only only visible for a few moments while the user is typing in their request. This means that the user can latch onto results sooner if they think that they have already found something interesting. In this, Google is trying to ‘guess’ what their users are looking for. After the introduction of keyword recommendations (Google Suggest) in April last year, suggestions for complete search results are the next logical step to bring users quickly and precisely to their desired results.


Increased revenue for Google

Like Universal Search and keyword recommendations, Google Instant Search will affect search and click behavior. Already more than 60% of searches from the Suggest recommendations are being used.

Increasingly more traffic will be guided to the most frequently searched and therefore most expensive keywords. Advertisers will adjust their strategy according to the recommended keywords which will in turn,through changing competition, become even more expensive. As the competition for these important prominent keywords increases, the price in this already competitive market segment will too. SEO and SEM will become more expensive and Google will earn more money.


The Long Tail gets shorter

After years of the Long Tail continuing to grow ‘longer’, the Short Head now stands ready to win back a share of searches.

Long search phrases lead to more relevant results and higher conversion rates for the corresponding websites. With Google Instant Search the number of searched for long search phrases can decline, as the searcher is more frequently guided to unintended results.

This is where Google may be shooting themselves in the foot. SEM customers already complain today over the disparity between the very high prices and seemingly low value in such a tough competitive market.


What does this mean for the Searchmetrics Suite?

Searchmetrics will continue to study the effects of these changes – as we are with Universal Search – on traffic behavior and then decide exactly how Google Instant Search will be incorporated into the Searchmetrics Suite. As long as traditional SERPs are still being delivered there will be no effect at first on the functioning of the Searchmetrics Suite and our customers wishing to achieve improvements in their rankings. If we establish in the course of analysis that the click-through rates of keywords change than we will incorporate this into our Traffic Forecast reports.


For more see the following link:
Informationweek: Google Instant Demands New Approach To Advertising


Alexandra Quiring