Monday, May 6, 2013

How should Google Instant change your next campaign?




Probably, but not how you might have expected.

For those of you who don’t use Google as your default search engine...Click Here
Anyway, Google Chrome instant search is a real-time search tool that allows users to more rapidly search for things on the internet . Extremely convenient, as you can see below, the search uses algorithms to auto predict your search results based upon
the most commonly typed in phrases or words. In fact, Google states that it can save 2-5 seconds for every search on Google. For me, someone who has more than 200 searches a day (i know, i have counted), that is a substantial amount of time. Here is a cool link that shows how the search works.


In the search below i just typed in the query ‘wher’ and this is what is returned:



Because it is in grey in the search box, the search results will have ready been presented in the window below:



It is May 6, when i am writing this so you can see why the “Where’s my refund check,” may be the most frequently searched phrase. Popularity, within context, is one of the main reasons for the higher results, but Google asserts that all suggested results, impressions, are based upon ‘real-user searches.’ But i didn’t want to search for “Where’s my refund check,” but rather “where to buy Lime Green Jackets?” So did i just give an impression for “where’s my refund check?”


While a great example of instant searches,  let’s take another example of an instant product search. If you open up your browser to google.com and type in the “Nike air max 201” you will see a suggested list like 2013 and 2012, but what is really interesting are the results that are presented below. Remember, we haven’t hit enter yet, but our results are still being displayed. If you drop select the “2012” in the suggested list, you should get a result list like this:
Any results that lists Nike in the domain is third in our organic searches list. Now instead of selecting the “2012” result in the search bar, select the “2013” and watch how your results differ. Now we see “nike” domain in the top slot. Is Nike paying extra for the keyword “2013” or is google instant search playing with things? If we just search for “nike air max”, Nike is the top two results. It is noteworthy, that is your were searching specifically for 2013 Nike Air Max shoes, you would have seen the results for the 2012 shoes first. Is this an incorrect impression?


After researching several sites, including Google, it is said the Google Instant will NOT be affecting your PPC data or your analytics data. Impressions, for instances, are only counted when a search term is clicked, the greyed suggested term is selected with an ‘enter’, or if you stop typing on a search query for more than three seconds. Google also believes, naturally, that instant search should actaully improve your impressions data over time because it will lead to less incorrect search or impressions, as users will see the results beforehand and be able to adjust their search terms appropriately. 

Seems like a reasonable way to ensure quality impression data, but where things may see a difference is in the AdWord campaign that you may be using. Google admits that your AdWord campaigns will need a tweak from your original campaign purchases. One thing that is always a question, is do you buy “hotel” or “hotels”? Before, you may have wanted to purchase “hotel” as it was shorter, but now it seems like Google Instant prefers “hotels” over “hotel” in the suggested 
results.
What is strange is that Google Trends shows that “hotel” is a much more frequently searched term than “hotels”.

So it would seem it is hard to pinpoint exactly which AdWord term would be a better fit. Of course, if you have the funds, you could always purchase both.


Throughout my research on this topic, the article by David Iwanow, on SearchEngineJournal.com was by far the most thorough. If you plan on reading more on this topic I highly recommend it. Link

So how does this change the way you prepare for your next campaign?