Every other Friday here at imFORZA, we hold an internal round table discussion about the latest news, tips and research that pops up during the week or month. Although we are a couple weeks or so behind at this point, one topic that continues to come up amongst ourselves internally and our customers is that of Google Instant Search.

Many customers have come to us wondering if all of their SEO investments and work over the past few years with us or another company is going to be all for nothing now that Google Instant Search is here. We thought it might be helpful to share our discussion about the topic here so that you can put in your two cents and also see our stance on the topic.

Common Questions About Google Instant Search

Many questions and concerns have arisen since the announcement of Google Instant Search. Here are some of the most common questions that we continue to receive and our responses to each.

If you have questions of your own for us or would like to throw in your feedback on our responses then please feel free to leave a comment below.

How will Google Instant affect my current organic rankings?

According to Google, there have been no changes to the current ranking algorithm, which means that your website’s organic rankings will not be affected by Google Instant Search. This said, it is important to note that Google Instant Search will most likely cause auto-predicted key phrases to become much more competitive. So, if your website is ranking for some juicy terms then you better not expect those rankings to just stay as they are for too much longer if you’re not constantly adding fresh content and acquiring quality backlinks to your website.

How does Google Instant affect the SEO strategy I have been using thus far?

Your SEO strategy should still remain the same in terms of adding new, fresh, relevant content and attaining backlinks from relevant, quality, authoritative websites. What will  need to change most likely though is how aggressive your SEO strategy is. Google Instant will make results off of the first page almost irrelevant so it is going to be more important than ever that your SEO strategy is focused on cementing your first page results and pushing any ancillary page results to the first page.

Do I need to start optimizing my website for incomplete phrases and keywords?

No, you do not need or want to start shifting your SEO strategy to include incomplete phrases, especially ones that are only 3 letters, just because Instant Search starts providing suggestions after those initial 3 letters. Instead, focus solely on keywords and phrases that are consistently driving you good traffic, and more importantly, quality conversions.

Will Google Instant change my paid search strategy?

Being that Google Instant is going to make the first page results, especially those above the fold, even more valuable, you can expect click prices for popular key phrases to become even more inflated. With these top results being so crucial for visibility with Instant Search you are most likely going to need to reevaluate your PPC campaign and possibly reallocate some of your funds to the terms that are more popular and competitive just to keep them on the first page. In addition, you are probably going to see impressions go up, click through rates go down and thus quality scores go down as well. So, make sure to keep your campaigns optimized so that quality score remains constant, if not always improving.

Is Google Instant going to affect my Google Analytics numbers?

Yes. Since you will most likely notice an increase in AdWords impression volume and in the distribution of organic keywords, you may find that certain key phrases will receive significantly more or fewer impressions moving forward. Be sure to keep a close eye on your analytics so you can make the necessary adjustments.

Optimizing for Google Instant Search

As mentioned throughout some of our responses above, Google Instant Search does not change your current rankings. However, Google Instant Search is going to force you to step up your SEO game. Here are some quick tips to optimize your website and/or blog now that this new feature is gradually finding its way to all of Google’s users:

  • Make sure your website is optimized for relevant key phrases that are auto-completed when doing a Google Instant Search
  • If your website is already ranking well for competitive phrases, then be sure to focus some more time and effort on these terms as they will become more in demand by other websites / companies with Instant Search
  • Use Google Instant Search auto-complete suggestions to find relevant, useful key phrases to optimize your site for
  • Keep a close eye on your Quality Score in your Google AdWords campaign(s)

BOTTOM LINE: The top 2-3 organic results have just become much more valuable with Google Instant Search being present so make sure your website is targeting the best converting key phrases and is ranking within these positions to get the most out of your SEO campaign.

Do you have any additional tips or questions that we may have left out? If so, we would love to hear them. Simply leave a comment below to get the tips, answers and suggestions you need to keep your website and business growing online.

Vinny La Barbera

I’ve been working in online marketing since 2000 and have helped thousands of companies improve their online presence and grow their business through better web / mobile design, development and online marketing.Learn more about me or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.