Headings in Arial Black 26
Subheadings in Arial Bold 20
Body in Arial 20
Google Instant Update
What is Google Instant?
Instant is an exciting new search development that launched September 9th
, that actually
makes the search result pages update before your eyes: changing whilst you type in your
query and before you even hit ‘search’. This enhancement has the potential to change the
way the people use Google, and essentially, the way people search.
Instant leans heavily on Google predictive search, where the most searched terms are offered
to the user as suggestions. Instant search updates by following the first in the list of
suggestions, until the user hits ‘search’.
However, Google Instant is not 100% in the mainstream, as in order to activate Instant you
need be logged into your Google Account, make sure it is activated (as shown below), and
also using one of the newest browsers.
The whole reasoning for this
technological push is said to be to speed
and Instant has been quoted to save 2-5
seconds per search. ‘If’ everyone globally
used Google Instant that would save 350
million hours every year (and 11 hours
Impact is has had on our accounts?
We have run some basic analysis in our key paid search accounts at Manning Gottlieb OMD
and here follows our findings and broad assumptions. Whist reviewing these results we must
bear in mind in viewing these results is that Google Trademark Policy update, also these
results have been based on all search traffic not solely that from Instant.
First of all, here is a diagram that clarifies what now constitutes an impression
Is Instant affecting how much we now have to pay?
Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Click (CPC) have shown some early signs of change:
Key MGOMD clients saw decreases in CTR ranging from 14% to 50%, which could indicate
an increase in impressions perhaps due to the new methods of counting these, such as 3
In 3 out of 4 clients analysed, CPCs have seen a slight increase of about 6% on average,
which is an after affect of the loss of CTR - a major factor of the CPC calculation.
Please note that Google’s change in its trademark policy may have contributed specifically to
decreases in CTR and thus increases in CPC.
Keywords focus is shifting to shorter tail
Across all clients analysed, there has been a noticeable increase in single keyword (KW)
impressions: we have seen an average increase of about 30% through search query report
(SQR) data and for these same clients and date range single KW impressions have increased
an average of 22%
Where previously a user would type their query in full before clicking enter, or switch to one of
the suggested queries this would only register an impression once the user had finished their
search. However now, impressions are counted during a three second pause, and as the
results update depending on the first suggested query in the list this could have led to an
increase in exposure of shorter term queries, but without driving the expected levels of clicks.
And what’s happening with misspellings?
3 of 4 clients analysed have also seen drops in misspell keyword impressions, at an average
decrease of 9.8%. Below is a good example of how Google is now jumping over misspell
keywords, with instant results running off the first of the suggested searches instead.
How will this impact our strategy moving forwards?
‘Most common predicted searches’ is probably the most significant influence Google Instant is
having on search results. We’d advise regularly monitoring search query reports, and the
prediction box and adding negative keyword selections to control unwanted impressions.
If we do not want to appear on top query suggestions, we should add them as exact negatives
across our whole account. If we do wish to appear, we should identify the higher spending
terms and split them into their own campaigns (if they are not already), and look to optimise
the relationship between the ad and the keyword. Any seemingly small gains here could help
us counteract any increase in impressions.
Rough data estimates so far have suggested that only 5% of searches made at the moment
are affected by Google Instant – so reactionary strategies that could applied across all clients
could be lacking a little foundation at this point. However, going forward we need to take
adoption rate of Instant into consideration.
When we start planning search we will need to factor in these changes in search behaviour
when considering the impact on CPCs month on month. So, as well as this new development
delivering users a faster and arguably better experience, Google are clearly looking to get the
best returns from the most competitive areas of the search landscape, where ad depth has
reached saturation, and for us this could mean that as we look through 2011 our budgets may
not go the distance.