If you have been to Google.com recently you have probably seen the latest innovation from the Google – Google Instant. Joining the ranks of instant coffee, instant rice, instant cameras, instant mashed potatoes, instant Jell-O, instant oatmeal, instant messaging and more – on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 Google announced Google Instant. Described as “an innovative new Google.com interface that creates an interactive search experience for users by predicting their query as they type and instantly showing updated results,” Google Instant boasts that it can shave 2-5 seconds off each Google search. After some experimentation with the new Google Instant interface, I can’t deny – it is very slick. How does it predict what I am going to type? Apparently the Google Instant algorithms are just that smart.
After testing out Google Instant, the first question we had here at JumpFly was: “How will this affect the Pay Per Click(PPC) Marketing for our clients?” With ads showing up before the entire search term was typed out, we were curious about the effect this would have on the number of impressions and click-through-rate (CTR) of our ads. So we dug a little deeper and found out some details that may help explain Google Instant’s impact on PPC a little bit.
There are three different situations that Google Instant counts impressions:.
1. Any click on the page – If the user begins to type a search query and then clicks anywhere on the page, an impression is counted. This includes clicking on a search result, a sponsored link, spelling correction or a related search.
2. Search selection – If the user clicks the Search button, presses Enter or clicks on one of the predicted queries, an impression is counted.
3. ‘Three second rule’ – If the user stops typing and the search results are displayed for at least three seconds, an impression is counted.
That being said, we must anticipate that Google Instant will increase the amount of impressions received by the keywords in our accounts. Hopefully this increase of potentially frivolous impressions will not have the negative impact on CTR that we would expect. As we have talked about before, a poor CTR can be a detriment to Google AdWords Quality Score forcing advertisers to increase their maximum cost-per-click (CPC) in order to be seen in higher positions in the search results.
Only time will tell how Google Instant will impact the Google AdWords accounts of the hundreds of thousands of businesses who advertise their goods and services on Google.com. Hopefully Google Instant will be a good thing, providing timelier search results to users and more qualified clicks to advertisers. Fingers crossed – Google, please don’t disappoint!