Brands will be forced to adjust their search-marketing strategies following the introduction of Google Instant, according to industry experts.
The tool, which has been rolled out to registered Google users, presents updated results as each letter of a search term is typed, reducing search time from an average of 24 seconds to an estimated 20 seconds.
Agency sources said Google has given a preliminary undertaking that the service will not effect the bidding mechanism for paid search advertising, but, in the long term, the company expects Google Instant to have a profound impact on search behaviour.
Brands that have two or more words in their name are most likely to be affected by the changes, according to Martin McNulty, general manager of search specialist digital agency Forward 3D.
He said marketers will need to be vigilant about where their trademarked term appears in natural search and may have to consider bidding on single, half and extra words to ensure they do not leak traffic.
Paul Mead, managing director of VCCP Search, said brands should monitor search data to keep track of increased competition from rival bidders.
Google Instant has received a mixed reception from advertisers, but Feel Good Drinks marketing director Steve Coo per suggested that it cements the search engine’s pioneer status.
Cooper said: "Google is the clear market leader and there’s an onus on it constantly to innovate and improve its service. I think Google Instant is a good example of it doing just that."
However, Norm Johnston, global digital leader at media agency Mindshare is less convinced.
He said: "Rather than offering generic predictions, if it could start recognising words that are based on you, your profile and what you like – almost artificial intelligence – then it becomes a lot more relevant and useful for consumers."
Google has developed a service which will take its rivals a long time to replicate, claimed Julian Grainger, head of SEO at Media Contacts. ‘Google will be looking to bring back users that it has lost to its rivals, and I think this will bring more people across, and will add another layer of domination globally,’ he said.
by: Sarah Shearman