Talking tech since 2003

This past Friday Google stated that Internet marketers shouldn’t change their SEO strategies to account for partially-typed keywords while using Google Instant.  Internet marketing firms were very concerned when the new feature launched earlier this week fearing that they would need to adjust their strategies to include partial word matches for search queries.  The way Google Instant works is that it returns search entries for each and every letter typed, so that if you type “e” it will provide a page of results beginning with “eBay,” while “es” leads to results with “ESPN.”

However, Alden DeSoto, who is a member of the Google Analytics team, said that SEO marketers shouldn’t change their strategies because of of Instant.  Whether or not SEO companies should change their search advertising strategy to serve ads on to partial keywords was another question asked by many people.  DeSoto responded by stating that doing would not be a productive strategy and to remember that ads are triggered based on the ‘predicted query’ and not the stem that the users types in.

So, for example, the partial query ‘car’ triggers results for the predicted query of ‘carpet’.  The only way someone can see your ad for ‘car’ is if they specifically searched for that word and hit enter or clicked search.  And if you sell carpet, it’s not likely that your ad for ‘car’ will be served alongside such a generic and irrelevant word (nor would you want it to).  DeSoto also said that the new Google Instant wouldn’t change search rankings, and that search queries using Instant would be tracked as they have always been.

In part, that’s because queries are measured using the predicted query (“resume”) versus the actual query (“re”), DeSoto added. “If a user was typing “web metrics” but got the search result she wanted at “web met” with the predicted term being “web metrics”, then you will see “web metrics” in your Google Analytics reports.

AdWords impressions are also counted in the same manner, with an impression generated by clicking on an ad or link on the page, or hitting “enter” after a query. The only change is that an impression will also be generated after a user pauses for three seconds after a keystroke is entered, as Google executives said at the launch.

Obviously this is good to know, I’m sure many people can sleep soundly now.


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