Google Instant Blog Series – Part 2 – 90 Days Later
The following is a post from Hart Van Santvoord, TIG Global Search Manager.
Just in time for the holidays, here is Part 2 of our 3 Part series on Google Instant Search, launched in September of this year. Now that we have reached ninety days post launch, it is time to revisit our findings and uncover any additional insights we have come across in that time.
For review purposes, these were the initial speculations we are hoping to answer through this series:
- Death to SEO – Google Instant predictions and scroll to search will have more and more influence of user behavior that pinpointing demand for keywords, thus building a comprehensive strategy, will become more difficult.
- End of the Longtail – users will find results before typing in longer keyword phrases.
- Growth of the Longtail – predictions will influence users to type longer, more specific search phrases.
You’ll remember from Part 1 in the series, we analyzed the month prior and the month post launch. We had a sample set of 50,000 search queries and over 300,000 visits. From this data, we concluded that there were no consistent changes to search behavior to support any of the above speculations. From this first study we were able to put the speculation to bed.
Part 2 – The Study
Similar to the first study we conducted, we analyzed over 50,000 search queries, 25,000 per ninety day period. For Part 2 we were able to gain insight into three times the visits, over 900,000, roughly 450,000 visits per ninety day period. Again, we then compared both the number of queries by search term length and also the number of visits, defined as a user clicking through an organic search ad to the website, by search term length as a percentage of the total.
The Results – maybe it was only a nap…
While we didn’t see consistent changes in search traffic in the first month, we are beginning to see slight changes after ninety days. As you can see from the graphs below, we are beginning to see a slight shift towards 1, 2 and 3-word search queries away from 4, 5 and 6-word search queries. In terms of visits we are seeing a slight shift towards visits from 1 and 2-word phrases away from 3 and 4-word phrases (just slightly) and 5 and 6-word phrases (a little more obvious). With all of this being said, it was still interesting to see increases in both the percentage of queries and percentage of visits coming from 8 or more word phrases.
The data shows that we may be seeing the beginning of a shift in user search behavior away from the longtail keyword. That being said, the shifts we are seeing are not significant enough, slightly less than 3%, to start ringing the “SEO is dead” or “death of the longtail” alarms. We are still only 90 days into the life of Google Instant so more certainly remains to be seen. Nevertheless, we will keep a close eye on the trends and revisit in another three months, so stay tuned to the TIG Global blog for future updates.
As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions below.
Interested in ramping up your search strategy? Learn more about the full suite of TIG Global interactive marketing tools, send us an email, or give us a call at 301-841-4700.