Google Instant - Consequences for Search Advertising
Yesterday’s launch of Google Instant has left the Search world in something of a state of limbo. PPC advertisers don’t know how it’s going to affect their ROI, and SEO experts are unsure whether they should even bother getting out of bed tomorrow morning.
In reality, as Instant is only available on selected Google domains and limited to users signed in on a Google account, the immediate impact won’t be the instant SEO Armageddon that many are predicting. So why are the experts so concerned? And more importantly, what are the implications for AdWords users?
Over at Search Star, we’re not altogether too concerned by the suggestion that Instant will screw up AdWords revenues because any increase in Organic traffic over paid links will see Google Instant discarded onto the prototypes scrapheap quicker than you can say Wave. We’re fairly certain that Google’s pre-launch tests will have shown a noticeable increase in paid search traffic; otherwise the project would never have seen the eerie light of day.
With traditional static search, every user would share the same set of results for a search query. However, as Google Instant dynamically alters the search results depending on the user’s web history and the keywords being entered, you quickly find Organic listings disappearing below the fold and paid links dominating the SERPS.
This is important for several reasons. Firstly, because users will quickly learn to optimize their search queries using shorter and more specific keywords; PPC advertisers have to be sharper on identifying and promoting their core keywords. Secondly, if paid links are being given priority then ad text and ad rank will become even more important in driving clicks.
Equally important, however, is the growth of the mobile market. Search on 3G Mobile devices are already driving a preference for short tailed keyword queries and Instant will only increase the volume of users optimizing their search queries. AdWords users would therefore be wise to keep an eye on the performance of their most lucrative keywords as bid increases are inevitable when the competition realizes where the money is.Continued on the next page