Google Instant – Effects on PPC and Organic Ranking

In September 2010 Google launched Google Instant which provides search results and suggested search terms as you type your search request. This change effects how you position your pages and could affect your PPC ranking.

How does Google Instant work?

Go to Google and type:
A – the search results show
Now type
Au – your search results show results for Auto

Here is another example:
Type Denver Ski
Your results are mostly skin clinics
But as soon as you put a space after ski you get more ski related results.

Google claims this will save 2-5 seconds per search.

What does this mean?

When you are creating keyword terms and title tags for your page you must consider how a person will be typing in their request. The word order will effect if your ad or list comes up or not.

I suspect in time people will not complete typing there search request and will only type part of it because they find a result below that is close to what they are looking for. If your page is not optimized to rank for a partial word search, for example part of your long tail term, then it may never be seen.

This could also affect your PPC cost since Google ranks your landing page on how many impressions your ad gets. Google has stated that they changed this algorithm so that an impression only counts if:

  • User clicks on a result PPC or organic
  • User looks at the page more then 3 seconds

There is not enough data to know if this is going to affect the costs of PPC and it is possible that once the system averages out over time it may not have an effect. Time will tell.

What should I do?

  • Test your terms and see how they come up.
  • Check your title tags to make sure they are optimized to how one would search by word order
  • Track your PPC click through rates to make sure they do not jump up unexpectedly.

More information

Google Instant Info

Google Instant Complaints


Google Instant – Bing Type Ahead comparisons,2817,2368863,00.asp

User behavior changes

Greg Ahern
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Author: Greg Ahern

Greg Ahern Founder and President of Ometrics® is a fanatic about conversion rate optimization and AI chatbots. Greg has been a successful Internet entrepreneur since 1994. He speaks at conferences and webinars and has built a number of internet businesses. You can follow Greg on Twitter @gregahern and join his CRO Hacks Groups on Facebook and Slack. When he is not in front of a computer he can be found unplugged with his family, drawing or sculpting, endlessly learning guitar or running around in the mountains biking, climbing and skiing.