There is a lot of talk right now on the short-term and long-term impact of Google’s Instant Search to SEO, with panic’d advertisers and nervous agencies at the top of the list. Please calm down, SEO is absolutely not dead and your traffic isn’t going anywhere. Stop for a moment and look at your analytics from the last two days. Do you notice a significant change from Google-sourced traffic? I didn’t think so. Feeling better yet?

Now let’s look at the forecast of what this recent improvement means to your long-term SEO strategy (less keystrokes is an improvement,to me anyway). According to a recent post on Quora by former Google PM Avichal Garg,

  • Page titles start to matter a lot more because you can capture a user’s attention with a highly relevant title as they’re in the midst of typing their query
  • Snippets will start to matter more, and so controlling your snippets may be a more important strategy
  • There may be unexpected, second order advantages to sites and domains that mirror how users construct queries. For example, if users search for [xyz amazon] then xyz.com may all of a sudden be more noticeable to users
  • Sites that target the long tail may benefit because they will gain sheer exposure over other sites as users will be more willing to refine queries on the fly

Should You Be Worried?

If your website hasn’t been reviewed by an SEO Expert, and you’re relying on the age of your domain and click-through history to see you through the Google Instant transition, you might want to get over yourself and at least review the three basic principles of SEO. If your website has structured content relative to the query, is linked to and mentioned by other websites, and is the final decision of the searcher after selecting a search result, you’re golden.