Google Instant Launch - Impact On Impressions

Google Instant, the latest search feature launched in the UK last week, aims to reduce the time spent searching for results.

Search results are delivered immediately as the query is being entered. As you type, Google Instant will attempt to compete the search query by predicting the top search query and so display these results. Dependent on the query, the results may also be localised based upon your IP address or location settings.

At launch, Google Instant supports the latest version of browsers from Chrome (Ver5 & Ver6), Firefox (Ver3), Safari (Ver5) and Internet Explorer (Ver8).

This is a major leap forward from Google in terms of user experience by providing relevant results quickly. However, for AdWords PPC (Pay Per Click) advertisers this does alter the way impressions are calculated.

Impressions with Google Instant are now counted when a user: - 

1. Clicks anywhere outside of the search box.

2. Confirms the query by pressing "Enter", hitting the "Search" button, or clicking on a predicted query text.

3. Stops typing for at least 3 seconds.

Existing AdWords PPC advertisers have raised concerns regarding the impact this change will have especially due to the short time interval of three seconds. Obviously any increase in impressions without a corresponding increase in clicks will have an adverse effect upon the CTR% (Click Through Rate). However, it will apply equally to all advertisers.

Many advertisers are also suggesting that Instant signals the end of long tailed keywords although the impact of this will vary from case to case. Advertisers are recommended to closely monitor their campaigns for any significant changes and adjust their keyword strategies accordingly.