All the news this week in the search business is about Google Instant and how SEO is now dead. If you follow the same news sources I do, you could actually believe that nothing else happened in the whole entire world. In fact, other things did happen. Google settled the Buzz lawsuit for $8.5 million. Google is being investigated by the Texas Attorney General. Google had a document that leaked the ad spend of its customers. Google had a funky logo with balls that moved around. Google... well... they did some other stuff, too.
Anyhow, today we will stay focused on Google Instant because I'm sure by now you've only read five or six other opinions on it. I, of course, have my opinion as well and I'm going to subject you to it. The short version is: I think it's annoying and I've turned it off.
The main reason I dislike Google Instant is because it's just horribly distracting. As I type, the search box moves from the center of the screen to the top and results start shifting around. Maybe it's my proclivity to being easily distracted by shiny objects -- and is that a squirrel outside my window? I appreciate all of you who are even grinning a tiny bit right now. Seriously though, I could hardly type my search term. I mistyped it more than once.
There's also a good argument to be made that Google Instant is going to have a large impact on Adwords. You get one guess who that impact favors. Consider that you get very limited broad matching in your PPC campaign and that you buy very specific long tail terms using exact match. Google is now showing ads for more generic or broad-matched terms while a user is typing in that high-converting long-tail query that you've targeted. This means two things. First, users are now potentially lost to you before they even finish their search. Second, broad match and generics are going to get more crowded and expensive. Hooray for Google shareholders.
I took some time to go hit Twitter and see what the search community thinks of Google Instant. There's a fun meme running right now that pretty much sums it up. It started with Susan Esparza from Bruce Clay Inc. Here are a few of my favorites:
susanesparza, google instant kills double-rainbows and kittens. I think it kicks puppies, too. let's blame it more.
dannysullivan: what do you blame google instant for? name your reason
graywolf: well @dannysullivan I blame google instant for solving the non-existant problem of google being too slow ... and world peace
Bill_Sebald: @dannysullivan Let's blame Google Instant for seizures. It's going to give me one by the end of the day...
So there you have it. I'd love to hear from some of you in the comments this week. So far the overwhelming response to Google Instant has been mostly negative. Is there something you like?