Google Instant places new emphasis on shorter keywords

Google Instant ArticleNow that Google Instant has been launched (To see it in action, just go to google.com) it’s easy to understand how it will affect organic search for users. In short, it will speed things up, because it will help you refine searches on the fly instead of running several keyword tests to get a relevant set of results. Google pretty much says so too.

But because I’m in marketing, I’m more interested in how it will affect SEO and PPC. This excellent article on Google Instant at the Guardian covers the topic well, but my own thoughts boil down to this:

This re-emphasizes the short keyword.

We’ve all been focused on long-tail keywords lately, like “cheap hotels that aren’t ridden with roaches” (by “keyword” I mean the entire phrase) to get highly relevant search results that reach the right customers. The idea is that anybody who searches on our specific terms is our best friend, while everyone else is a tire-kicker. But with Google Instant, that person doesn’t need to type so much anymore. By the time they finish typing “cheap h”, they have results. Typing “Cheap ho” and “cheap hot” make the terms even more relevant for them.

I realize these terms may bring up different results for you! 🙂

Now, with Google Instant, it is likely that SEO professionals need to think more about the best short, front-loaded keywords that put them in the search results. This is because users can quit typing after a few letters if the results start to look relevant enough. No more finishing the keywords.

The one-letter keywords are taken, so what one- or two-word keyword gets people to your site? It’s time to start thinking about it.

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