Google Instant launched today and it works remarkably well. Maybe too well for Google. There has been plenty of great posts on Google Instant in the last few hours.
There also been a lot of nonsense that it will have a negative effect on SEO.
So I won’t rehash what they have already observed. Ill assume you’ve had a play with it at Google.com. As a I use Google Instant though I am seeing some interesting patterns. Currently, if you type www into google.com with Instant switched on, the first six entries are Facebook. From this I deduce that (not that we didn’t already know) the Facebook user is for the most part new, to the Internet. This is actually one of the reasons I question the goals of the NBN. Not only is this audience new, the majority of them are probably connecting from a mobile. Big leap I know but hear me out.
To explain the significance of the www search I’ll need to give you some history. The www sub domain was used in the early days, to distinguish the actual machine the web server was running on. Back then you might have a machine that was your web server, another that was for FTP, another for mail, news, gopher, archie, veronica etc. As the web exploded though, www quickly became the most ubiquitous sub domain. As web browsers became a standard application on a computer and web servers became more powerful, it became a best practice to have the root domain resolve to your website, i.e you don’t have to type in www.google.com just google.com and you’ll reach the same web site. The fact that Google believes anyone who is typing in www is looking for Facebook means that they have probably had many people simply type www.facebook.com into Google because Google is their home page. Like Wayne here points out when I was telling people last night on Twitter
How does this relate to the NBN? These same people are unlikely to manage a router and modem in the home, which of course you’ll need for your fibre connection. I realize there are some holes in this argument such as, it’s US data I’m looking at but my point is that is where the net is heading. The non technical user is fast becoming the predominant demographic online. As I’ve said before, we need Apple wireless bandwidth. If we’re hell bent on spending money on improving our network, let’s deregulate wireless whilst we’re at it because that is where the growth is.
Now type in wwww . Google thinks your looking for YouTube. Or type in the letter C. craigslist is more popular than CNN. This data has been there since Google suggestions started but seeing the results instantly, is an interesting experience. You’d never spend time doing these searches normally because of the time involved but GI is very fast.
From an SEO viewpoint, keyword analysis becomes more important than ever. Just remember that 20% of searches entered into Google have never been entered before. Initially I thought that long tail searches would be less important but if I’m looking for “CB radio operator manual..” I’m not all of a sudden going to stop at C and head off to craigslist or CNN. Google Instant is about speeding up the search experience. If you haven’t been using Google suggestions in your keyword analysis, maybe now is a good time to start.