Google Instant Search Impact
When Google Instant first appeared there were many rumblings about its possible side effects. We’re now starting to see some published information around Google Instant’s application on the Web and there are three recent articles, which I feel have some very interesting information.
First, this article on Econsultancy http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/6701-google-instant-has-changed-the-way-we-search , indicates that the site’s traffic was altered by Instant by visitors utilizing different patterned search terms. According to the chart showing the traffic generating search terms, there was significant growth in 7 word search phrases, a modest growth in 4 word search terms, and, a decrease in 2, 3, 5, and 6 word phrases. Google Instant appears to have changed the pattern of search terms visitors use to reach the website in question by making it easier and more enticing for searchers to use specific and more popular multiple word terms for accessing the site. An important thing to remember is that these are search terms that lead to traffic and do not contain any information from the entire search phrase population that would contain potential site visitors.
Second, in another published study mentioned in the above article, Essential Travel conducted research http://blog.essentialtravel.co.uk/no-one-is-looking-at-google-instant.html with users and observed that the vast majority of test searchers typed out their full phrase and ignored the Google Instant results. This study seems to indicate that the Google Instant results will appeal to only certain segments of searchers. As I have mentioned previously, Google Instant would seem to be significantly more beneficial and attractive to mobile searchers than PC users.
Third, a study by Covario http://actionableinsights.covario.com/1715/let%E2%80%99s-look-at-the-instant-replay-%E2%80%93-early-results-on-whether-google-instant-is-making-a-difference/indicates that Google Instant significantly increases the number of clicks on paid search ads. Does this shock anyone? Google Instant does a very good job of giving prime real estate to search ads. According to the Covario study, Google Instant has had a significant impact on the percentage of overall clicks that go to paid search advertisement listings. The study indicated that prior to Google Instant the breakdown of click through rates were 82% organic / 18% Paid Search, and after Google Instant it is reported as being 78% organic / 22% Paid Search. This is a 22% increase on click throughs for paid search ads; 18 to 22%. There were two other items noted in the Covario study. One, click through rates for Paid search are up. Two, single word query impressions are up. If this holds true throughout Google advertisers, it would mean a significant increase in Google revenue and advertisers’ expense.
I feel that the trends of higher impressions will continue and that CPCs will start edging higher as we continue to learn how Google Instant impacts our performance generating search phrases and their value.