By Jane Leung
HONG KONG – Google has released a new search feature called Google Instant that will enable search results to start popping up while the user is still typing.
Google Instant predicts search behaviour by suggesting and finishing keywords or phrases typed into the search box.
According to the Google Blog, the new service provides “dynamic yet relevant results, predictions of the rest of the query in gray text and scroll-throughs on predicted materials to get a wider spectrum on searches.”
As far as advertisers are concerned, the new real-time data search system raises questions like how could one be at the top of the search prediction while still being relevant to searchers.
Antony Yiu, iProspect’s managing director in Hong Kong and regional search director for North Asia, suggested that this could lead to a natural spike in search volume.
Yiu explains, “If you see how Google displays the instant search box, it actually pushes down the number of search results that can are shown above the fold (before you scroll down).” Search engine optimisation is therefore key to keeping marketer websites and other digital assets on the first display page.
“From a SEO perspective, it actually becomes more important for companies to get top rankings, especially for some generic terms,” he continues. Advertisers will now need to learn which keywords Google Instant will suggest and predict beforehand.
From a search engine marketing perspective, Yiu continues, “Instead of just buying ‘Hong Kong Hotel Discount’, the advertiser may need to opt in to buy keywords such as ‘Hong Kong Hotel’. This is because a searcher will be exposed to Google ads for ‘Hong Kong Hotel’ before they finish typing ‘Hong Kong Hotel Discount’.”
Google Instant is now available in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia.
VP of search products and user experience at Google Marissa Mayer said, “Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll work to roll out Google Instant to all geographies and platforms.” Google Instant will also be made available in different languages.