Last week Google launched Google Instant an update to the interface of Google that shows results as you type. Since that day there has been buzz all around the web about how this change will effect SEO. The most common concern would be a decrease in Long-Tail searches. Long-Tail searches are searches that are very targeted. An example of a short-tail search would be “shoes”, where an example of a long-tail search would be “white nike basketball shoes”.
Many websites(usually start-ups or small businesses) rely on long-tail searches to bring traffic to their websites. This is based upon the difficulty and low conversion rate of short tail phrases. For example lets look at how many results there are for our short-tail and long-tail phrases;
As you can see from our search, our short tail search had 272,000,000 results where our long-tail had 503,000 results. This means there where less pages on the internet competing for that combination of keywords.
With Google Instant many experts are concerned that it will encourage users to settle for the shorter suggested Google searches, rather than creating a more unique targeted search phrase. Others on the other hand think that it will encourage users to keep typing until the suggestion is more specific to their need, this would cause long-tail searches to increase.
After reading over many of these articles, I think bottom line is; time will tell. As SEO professionals we need to keep a close eye on analytics, continue using best practices and analyze user behavior as this update is surely going to effect the way people search.