On September 8 Google announced Google Instant. It’s one of the most significant UI changes we’ve seen in a while. The concept behind this enhancement is efficiency. Google claims that Instant will shave 2-5 seconds per search, and save the collective search world 11 hours per second.
How does Google Instant work? Instead of entering a search query and hitting enter, you begin typing and Google “predicts” your most likely search query before you finish. The predictions (shown in light gray text) adapt as you type in more characters. You don’t have to hit Return to see results. And, as you enter more characters, the results, both organic and paid, change to reflect the predicted query.
Google Instant’s Impact On PPC
Google Instant does not change the way ads are served, or how the AdWords auction is conducted. The biggest potential impact for AdWords advertisers is the number of impressions we may see. Prior to Google Instant, an impression was counted if a user completed a search and your ad appeared on the page. With Google instant, impressions will be counted if:
- searcher begins typing a query and clicks anywhere on the SERP.
- searcher selects a query by hitting Return, clicking the “Search” button or selects one of the predictions.
- searcher stops typing for three or more seconds.
Things to note:
- Google Instant is available in the US. It will soon be available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia.
- Google Instant is available for modern browsers: Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8.
- Google Instant’s autocomplete will pass the search term referrer as the full predicted keyword, whether the searcher finishes typing it in or not.
- Google Instant is “family safe,” meaning it won’t predict porn queries.
- Google Instant is not yet available for mobile devices, but Google says it will be rolled out soon.