The way people search is changing. That much is clear. Some of that is their own doing, and some of it is the doing of search engines. People are increasingly going to apps or social media for retrieving different types of information. Google recently released Google Instant and expects to change user behavior with it.
Are you worried about the impact of Google Instant on your site? Comment here.
Last week, we discussed what impact Google Instant might have on SEO. The topic has been widely discussed around the web. The conclusion some of us reached is that SEO will not die, but will continue to change, but one still can't help but wonder how to divide efforts among SEO and other forms of online marketing. Neil Jones at ISEdb.com writes:
Getting top spot is now even more important. If you can dig out some heat maps of Google search results from a couple of years ago, you will see people were clicking all over the page, If you look at recent heat maps they have managed to corral people into predominantly clicking on the top 3 results.
It has always been important to get high rankings but now it is looking like; if you're not number 1 you're not getting the click. The combination of Google Instant and the sponsored search results pushes the organic SERPS right down the page, in a lot of the searches I have done, the only result that is left above the fold is the number one listing, Real estate on the first page was tough enough to come. Now it could be clicks that are going to get harder to come that are unless you’re number one.
I don't know if its as cut and dry as "if you're not number 1, you're not getting the click", but it might be reason enough to re-evaluate how your marketing efforts are divided up.
Look at YouTube Instant. This is a project that a student whipped up in a few hours and almost immediately had the whole web's attention (at least the tech web's), not to mention the attention of YouTube itself. More importantly, look at how he got that attention - a great deal of it came from a combination of Twitter and press.
Twitter and press often feed off each other, and can bring exposure to something on a massive scale, in no time. I'm not saying Twitter and press should replace your search efforts, or that it's easy to do what the creator of YouTube Instant did. Viral isn't an easy nut to crack. I'm just saying, search isn't everything. Do something interesting. Make something interesting. Say something interesting. Sometimes that alone can go along way. Even if it doesn't go viral, it might leave a lasting impression on someone.
Now that it's been around for over a week, do you think Google Instant is a game-changer? Tell us what you think.