Google Instant

As some of you might have noticed already, when you do a search at Google, the results change every letter you type in.  This is the new Google Instant and another example of Google being ahead of the game.  Not everyone is liking it so far and you can easily turn it off by clicking on the Instant is on box located to the right of the search box.

From the GOOGLE INSTANT page:

Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.

The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.


Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.

Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.

Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.


There are a lot of different things that come up here related to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google adwords Pay Per Click marketing.  One thing is that your search rankings wont change at all because of this. Some people are saying that this is not good for SEO but that doesnt really seem to be the case at all and Matt Cutts has some comments on that question on his Google blog.


Q: Will Google Instant change search engine optimization?
A: I think over time it might. The search results will remain the same for a query, but it’s possible that people will learn to search differently over time. For example, I was recently researching a congressperson. With Google Instant, it was more visible to me that this congressperson had proposed an energy plan, so I refined my search to learn more, and quickly found myself reading a post on the congressperson’s blog that had been on page 2 of the search results.

Ben Gomes mentioned this during the Q&A, but with Google Instant I find myself digging into a query more. Take a query like [roth ira v]. That brings up Autocomplete suggestions like [roth ira vs traditional ira], [roth ira vanguard], and [roth ira vs 401k]. Suddenly I’m able to explore those queries more just by pressing the up/down arrow key. I can get a preview of what the results will be, add or subtract words to modify my query, and hit enter at any time. The ability to explore the query space and find out new things will inevitably lead to changes for SEO. When I was in grad school, I had a professor who mentioned that peoples’ information need often change over the course of a search session. Google Instant makes that process even easier: people can dig into a topic and find out new areas to explore with very little work.


The first thing is that this will change how people do searches and you might have a lot of people who don’t finish typing the whole search they were going to type. Instead of typing the full phrase of  Chicago Tax Lawyers, they might stop at Chicago tax and click on one of the results.  Yet some people might not even notice and just  type in the whole search and a lot of people might just turn it off.  So its hard to say how much of an impact this will have.  

The bottom line though is that if your site is not optimized for the organic or local results, then your not going to appear on Google Instant or Google regular for any keywords related to your geographic location and practice areas.

Contact us today if we can help your law firm with creating a new legal site, redesigning an existing site or using your site to get new clients via Internet Marketing.

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