Another week of our Google lives has flown by, leaving a trail of both promise and doubt. That is, the flashy new Google Instant threatens to kill everything we've come to know about search engine optimization, but at least we have Google TV.
Google Instant, and What it Means for SEO
Welcome to the age of instant gratification, when we can get results without pressing either the "Enter" key, or the "Search" button:
Big G's new stream-y search perk is, understandably, all the rage in the consumer pool. Mix faster, more efficient and on-point results with a dash of Bob Dylan and how could it not be? But wait! Check out the marketers, advertisers and SEO heads over yonder... do we spy some sweaty brows?
Several experts, including Steve Rubel, believe that Google Instant equals instant doom and gloom.
- Searchers will be less likely to click through to a second page of search results, which translates to fewer words for marketers to work with.
- It isn't clear whether Google will count each refresh or change of the search engine results pages as an impression for the advertiser.
- Scammers. "We know for a fact that most Blackhat SEO campaigns automatically query Google's trending topic results and now it seems that Google Instant will be suggesting those trending phrases, potentially putting millions of victims directly in cybercriminals' crosshairs," said Sean-Paul Correll of Panda Labs
And, finally, as Rubel put it, "Google Instant means no one will see the same Web anymore, making optimizing it virtually impossible." The first part of this statement is absolutely true, but we we've been on the Web engagement hype for long enough to know that already. To the second part: C'mon, Steve! Nothing is impossible!
Rather, it's simply a matter of changing strategy. While it's obvious that data-rich and famous sites (Wikipedia, Amazon, Best Buy, etc.) will continue on as happy little clams, it's up to SEO practitioners to do some soul-searching and re-learn the ways of what makes a result the right one. In other words, it'll be an ugly battle for the leading space in single and double letter combos.
Conversely, for all the dotcoms out there that rely on misspellings to generate traffic (mysapse, wikepedia, etc.), it looks like your days are numbered.
Watch Google TV This Fall
We've all been waiting patiently for Google TV since the Internet giant first mentioned it at Google I/O back in May. Here's a quick recap:
Google TV is a new experience for television that combines the TV that you already know with the freedom and power of the Internet. With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.
And a nifty video:
We've talked about the significance of this release in the context of digital advertising, which is being able to unbundle the ads from the content. Just as Google Instant means no one person will see the same Web, Google TV means no one person will see the same channel.
Henrique De Castro, Google's Global VP of Media & Platforms, noted the following changes to expect:
- Audience Fragmentation: Splitting up audiences into many tiny groups was a scary thing when we didn't have the technology, but Google says we've advanced enough to re-aggregate and reap the benefits.
- Ad Complexity: Dynamic ads will be the most important, taking cues from the weather, traffic, political conditions, game results, etc. Imagine waking up to an unexpected rainstorm, turning on the tube and seeing an ad for galoshes.
- Change media plans on the fly: Google TV will be able to continuously offer content that is most relevant to what's going on in your personal world at any given time.
- Goodbye Offline: "Social is life. Life is social. That's why we're here," said De Castro. "Every single medium is going to be social." This also means offline offerings will slowly become less and less important. Constant connection will be a necessary reality.
There's no set date, but these changes will begin to become available some time this season in the U.S. and some time next year for the rest of the planet.