Google Instant Search is going to have 2 major effects on search queries. If you advise on, or provide search marketing services then you need to be aware of how both of them will impact search marketing.
Overnight, Google first page results for a wide range of phrases are going to get vastly more visibility, and presumably more traffic too. Previously, users wouldn’t have seen results until completing their search phrase. Now they will potentially see results for every letter they type, but only those that appear on the first page.
Internet marketers need to ask themselves the question, “which content regularly appears on the first page?”. I conclude that this will favour SEO’d images, video, news, blog, shopping and local results which all only appear in first page results. In almost all cases they all have more visible results normally anyway. Creating a greater prize for first page results will inevitably increase investment in SEO to capture the top spots in results.
Relevant Shorter Search Phrases Will Draw More Traffic
Searchers want results as quickly as possible, Google have admitted that this was the primary driver for the changes they have implemented. I think you’ll agree that, when searching, people tend to stop when they find what they were looking for!
Therefore by focusing on getting the website in question to appear in the shortest possible number of words relating to its content you should get more traffic. Search marketing will be driven towards getting results through the minimum amount of text entered, therefore driving competition in the primary phrases in the predicted entry (the ones that produce on screen results). Once again this competition for shorter phrases is likely to generate further investment in SEO for companies who rely on search enquiries and sales.
Instant Search Observations
Finally, a couple of notable observations. Firstly, mis-spellings since the introduction of predictive input Google have already gone some way to reducing these, now the results element is likely to reduce mis-spellings in search even further, so my advice is, don’t pick an SEO who can’t spell! :)
Secondly, to some extent very short phrases will get reduced traffic. Now this is slightly contradictory to my second major point but consider this; we’ve established Google has already driven competition towards the top 4 predicted phrases and specifically results for the primary predicted result. For many typed phrases, Google shows results for a longer predicted phrase.
Try Instant Googling “buy” and see what subliminal suggestions Google comes up with for you. Clearly this will reduce the proportion of very short phrases being used in search queries.