Google Instant Search – What is the Paid Search & Quality Score Impact?

Google Instant Search Terminology

Google Instant Search Terminology

Google Instant Search is here! What is it you ask? I’ll  let Google explain in three simple features:

  • Instant Results: relevant results are generated dynamically and display as you type
  • Predictive Text: algorithmically predicts the rest of your query as you type
  • Scroll to Search: Arrow keywords scroll through predictions and results update instantly

Overall, Google claims this will save 2-5 seconds per user generated search query. This equates to over 3.5 billion seconds saved every day, 350 million hours every year and approximately 11 hours every second. Pretty impressive!

I would argue Bing tried to solve for the same conundrum as well when it launched so its interesting to see Google taking on the same perceived ‘search problem’.

What what about the important questions .. .like what impact this change will have on paid search or even organic search volume? Perhaps the biggest questions two-fold. The first is what exactly counts as an ad impression? This nifty chart from our Google rep should help explain this in a lot more detail below.

Google Instant Adwords Ad Impressions

Google Instant Adwords Ad Impressions

The second question is how will this change affect my Adwords quality score? According to our Adwords rep, “This does not change the way we determine the relevance of your ads. As always, we look at you ad’s performance relative to that of other ads for the same query, position and UI treatment (including whether or not an ad was served using the new Google Instant interface).” Not exactly a mind-blowing or super informative response. It is good to know, however, that the quality score algorithm is not going through an overhaul in conjunction with this new Google Instant interface.

The last question I had for my Adwords rep was this .. what types of changes can we expect in terms of volume? The simple answer he provided was “its too soon to tell.”

What are your thoughts? Do you like the functionality/feature? What do you expect in terms of Adwords performance and organic traffic? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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