Aftermath of Google Instant on Search Behavior

by Christopher Yee on September 29, 2010

It has been three weeks since the advent of Google Instant and there’s already 85 million search results for it – WOW!  That is very impressive….but then again, that’s the world wide web for yah.

In any case, I’d like to contribute to the search community regarding the aftermath of Google Instant’s impact on search behavior.  This article is based on blog posts from Conductor, SEOmoz and Distilled.

Unless I am mistaken, a thing to keep in mind is not everyone has Google Instant yet so the numbers will eventually change.  Also, I would like to thank Seer Interactive for their free downloadable spreadsheet – it has worked wonders!

Quick Notes

  • Data is pulled from our US domain only
  • Measuring one week before and after Instant’s inception
  • Over 40,000 keywords
  • Weekly traffic averaging around 600,000 visits

Analysis

Here’s what the changes look like on a table for the percentage of total keywords.Google Instant Data

Here it is in a graph illustrating the number of visits by search term length.

Google Instant Keyword Analysis

The distribution of traffic in the graph clearly shows there is no concrete evidence that Google Instant has changed search behavior.  Although there was a slight shift (.64%) from 4word keywords to 3word keywords, the difference is so minute that it’s insignificant.

I’d like to point out that we mainly aim for high demand head terms.  So instead of seeing a shift to long tail, our company might lean towards the left (shorter keywords) as portrayed above.  It’s something I will be keeping an eye on because it’s too soon to tell and as with everything else in SEO – patience is a virtue.

Christopher Yee, out!