Instant Headache?

Google. Like any good business, they never stop evolving. Re-evaluating, testing, revising. Google Instant is the latest endeavor from the company which they hope will allow them to continue to grow and maintain a hold on the search market. Google Instant will predict searches as you type, saving you time (2-5 seconds per search). But that’s not all it does. As you type your search, the organic search results and the paid ads will change according to Google’s predictions.

Anyone who is involved in search marketing will know that this will most certainly have an impact. How that will unfold and the exact ramifications are yet to be seen. We will be keeping a close eye on it.
In terms of impact on impressions, here’s what I read on JumpFly:

There are three different situations that Google Instant counts impressions:.

  1. Any click on the page – If the user begins to type a search query and then clicks anywhere on the page, an impression is counted.  This includes clicking on a search result, a sponsored link, spelling correction or a related search.
  2. Search selection – If the user clicks the Search button, presses Enter or clicks on one of the predicted queries, an impression is counted.
  3. ‘Three second rule’ – If the user stops typing and the search results are displayed for at least three seconds, an impression is counted.

So basically, there is a good chance impressions could go through the roof – and one can only hope that the CTR will not suffer. From my understanding, a poor CTR would result in a decrease of your Quality Score, and in turn, increase the amount you need to spend on cost-per-click (CPC) in order to rank closer to the top. Oh Google. Just when I think I have a handle on something, you go and shake it up.

Take a look at the overview video from Google explaining the changes and an ad promoting them.


1 Comment

Filed under Just General Ad Stuff

One response to “Instant Headache?

  1. Kyle Murphy

    It’s funny – there’s major panic in the streets over this one. Some people are even calling it the end of SEO.

    It does have a major play in the way adwords works though – as impressions are counted differently as you mentioned. Yes, this should have a serious, short term impact on quality scores – it’ll likely also drive a great deal more unqualified, billable clicks across your ads.

    Oh Google. I don’t think the adwords shake-up will be long-term though. They’ll likely change the algo that calculates quality score and put less weighting on click through rates, but only time will tell.

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