Levi is a contributing guest blogger from HZDG.
Yesterday (Wednesday, September 8th) was all abuzz with the release of Google’s latest user interface update called Google Instant. In this update, users are able to see search results change in real time as they type in a keyword phrase. This nifty trick is partially accomplished by Google’s ability to anticipate what a user is searching for and auto-populate the rest of your search.
While the benefits of this change in how results are displayed are still being noted, in Google’s blog post on the release, a few of the core benefits were brought to light:
- Dynamic Results – Google dynamically displays relevant search results as you type so you can quickly interact and click through to the web content you need.
- Predictions – One of the key technologies in Google Instant is that we predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing. See what you need? Stop typing, look down and find what you’re looking for.
- Scroll to search – Scroll through predictions and see results instantly for each as you arrow down.
Impact on Social Media
While the enhancement to a user’s experience in search is clear, the impact on social media marketing isn’t as obvious. Admittedly, there don’t seem to be an immediate ‘game changers’ in this Google update with respect to social media marketing but I invite you to consider what this can mean moving forward and how your strategies may require some adjustments.
Just as that evolved strategy has a variety of moving vehicles, assets and channels, the “Google Machine” has many moving parts that may not seem related at first glance, but when put together can shed light on ways to take advantage of upcoming opportunities.
Real Time Search Redefined
You may recall Google launching a feature last year that allowed real time results from social media to appear in a scrolling box on the search results page.
The current lack of utility for this small scrolling box aside, in order to accomplish this task Google had to find a way to speed up crawling and result deliverability. Sound familiar? Google Caffeine was somewhat focused on timeliness too and now Google Instant’s primary benefit is the time it will save searchers.
As you continue to push out timely content on your blog, news portal, Twitter account and to some extent event Facebook, be mindful of the day coming where those real time results will be integrated right at the top of this real time interface. This small box will no longer look so out of place when all the results around it are changing at the same speed and your social media content will become much more relevant in the search world.
Blog Topic Research Made Easy
Also, be sure to take advantage of this new interface by using the suggested terms as a way to not only find on-topic conversation points for your blog posts. While I don’t know the exact formula used, it’s a safe bet Google is paying attention to popular search queries based around your audience’s past searches (locally and globally) in order to show relevant suggestions. In doing so, they are giving you insight on what people are searching for and areas you may want to create content in order to spread your message to a new audience.
Where to Go From Here
To wrap this up I’ll just say that Google’s product offerings will continue to evolve towards quality results in an interactive design. Google Instant is a clear indication of that. When new opportunities like this come up, take time to think about how it may change what is happening now and what may happen in the near future. By doing so you put yourself in a position to insert your brand into their daily lives with more relevance and higher impact.