Google has just implemented Instant Search capabilities, which allows a user to view predictive search results while typing in a keyword.  Essentially, this incredible feature rids the need to use the search button ever again.

Our first question here at Insight Forge was how instant search would affect Adwords ad results as well as organic SEO results.

Google Instant and Adwords

Google has a section on their instant search informational site that addresses the effect on Adwords.  As you type a word into the search box, ads will display directly below and in the right hand column just as before.  The ads will change up as the predictions for the search query change.

How Ad Impressions Work with Google Instant

One big change is how ad impressions will be counted.  According to Google, there are three ways that an impression is counted:

1.  If you stop typing for 3 seconds the current ad results will be counted as an impression
2.  If you begin a search query and click anywhere on the page it will be counted as an impression
3.  If you press enter or the search button (as it was before) it will be counted as an impression.

As far as the overall effect on impressions, Google makes the statement that you should “continue ‘monitoring your ads’ performance the same way you usually do. Google Instant might increase or decrease your overall impression levels.”

Overall, instant search seems like it could help users find what they are looking for via ads, however, the real results can’t be determined until some more concrete quantitative data comes in.

Google Instant and SEO

How will Google Instant Search change how organic search results are listed in Google?  According to Sergey Brin: “Basically it stays the same. It’s still the same results, it’s just adapting to behavior.”

Although the results are the same, will there be new new strategies for targeting keywords that ‘aren’t yet keywords?’  For example, will optimizing for  the keyword ‘Haw’ bring in users that want to search for ‘Hawaii’?  If so, this could change up the SEO game entirely.