Google Instant Search rolled out this morning and while some, like me, have already gone into their preferences and turned it off, many others will leave their Google setting as is and continue to use the instant search feature.
The purpose of instant search, according to Google, is to save 2-5 seconds per search and to get smarter predictions on what you’re searching for. As you enter your search words, Google will populate your results for you. It seems like a pretty sweet deal – as you get to do less thinking and more clicking. If you’re a business using AdWords, it could mean something different for you.
More clicks could be exactly what Google wants. Think about this – when it comes to AdWords, you’re paying per click based off the search terms entered into Google. What Instant Search has done is create a search engine that will give more results to short tailed keywords (cell phone vs. cell phone provider in Texas) and stop the need for you to search further.
Let’s say you’re doing a search for “cell phone providers”. Once you get to “cell phone”, Google displays results for you, and if you keep typing what you’re looking for, you’ll get a different set of results for the longer search term. Basically, what this boils down to is the companies listed will pay more when you click on a result for “cell phone” than you will for “cell phone provider in Texas”.
What Google has essentially done here is put businesses in the position where customers will be clicking on results spanned from short tailed keywords, costing business more money, and lining Google’s pockets with instant cash. Now, when our results are instantly populated we could keep typing exactly what we set out to search for, but why would we when Google has laid out a nice set of results for us to click through?