Google announced today that they are changing the basic interface for how search results are going to be delivered to users. Instead of making searchers type out the entire phrase they are researching, Google is going to start returning search results right away with each letter typed for the phrases that they guess people are actually looking for answers on. The search results could recycle every letter typed.
I would assume that their thinking is that this will allow people to perform more accurate searches with their first search attempt instead of having to search a second or third time getting more specific with each one.
One would have to assume that this new change in the basic search results delivery will prompt more people to focus on short-tail results instead of long-tail results. Time will tell how it plays out. This stands to impact internet marketing quite substantially. Here is why:
Internet Marketers are often targeting the less savvy internet users. There is big money in it if you can identify those people and the types of products and services that they buy online. Those people are ones that these long-tail buying keyword hunters like myself have been able to profit from. This presents a possible shift in the way that those people are going to act and interact with Google.
Are people going to continue typing out those really long tails? Are people going to perform two or three related searches for each topical research event? OR, are they going to find a close enough answer to what they seek after just typing the first two words of the long tail?
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My Take On Google Instant
I believe that once it has been in practice for a few months, it will lead to people getting faster answers to the information they seek in Google. People will learn to harness the new faster results in unique ways. Some people are going to absolutely love it.
I believe this will strengthen the position of well-known brands and well-known websites. They are the ones who tend to rank better for short-tail keywords. The small micro-website owners will probably get a little less organic traffic than they otherwise would without this change.
What about internet marketing?
It will be bad for certain internet marketers and no different for other ones. I think it is going to be very bad for the internet marketers who are making money through certain kinds of arbitrage. I am not talking about the commonly abused Adwords to Adsense arbitrage. I am talking about internet marketers who find people searching for the wrong keywords and get them to find more relevant information by clicking on advertisements. Some of the so-called Made For Adsense (MFA) websites do this quite effectively and quite profitably targeting primarily organic search engine traffic. It will be bad for some of those, which will make Google and searchers happier.
For the cream of the crop traffic in most niches, internet marketers are at the mercy of search engines. Success is found by getting traffic from them and providing the solution that these people are looking for. Anything that inhibits that ability to get in front of those searchers is going to be bad for marketers.
If the effect is big enough, internet marketers will be forced to adapt in new ways. If it was really bad it is not unreasonable to assume that some internet marketers will focus less on Google and refocus their efforts to target Yahoo and Bing’s organic traffic.
Time will tell how big of an impact this is going to have. We aren’t really going to know until after it has been fully rolled out and tested by the public. There might even be an opportunity or two created from this if some smart internet marketers can find a way to use this to their advantage.
What are your thoughts?