In an Instant World

Make breakfast easier with instant pancakes! Clean your bathtub quicker with instant sanitizer! Get over that headache with instant relief! And now, decrease your time searching with instant Google!

In a society that increasingly glorifies and capitalizes on the public’s laziness and torpor, ‘instant’ has become a necessary descriptor for the success of countless goods and services. When computers became prolific, all were happy to forego the burdens of the pen in favor of the seamless keyboard. But it is not enough; it MUST be faster! Unfortunately the insipid human tentacles can only move so fast, but mother Google always knew it would come to this. So for the sake of our penchant for inertia, Google now provides instant results so that searchers can complete the hunt much more rapidly. In essence, type less to get more. Never before have people been so brazenly rewarded for lack of thoroughness. I wonder if this could have larger implications for the future of nonverbal communication and the ‘written’ word, as language might start to evolve in concomitance with our dire need for efficiency. That is probably an issue outside of my realm of expertise, but I suppose I can comment on the implications for SEM.

Google instant caused a lot of chatter when first announced, and since its implementation, it has looked like much ado about nothing. So it appears that search marketers can breathe easy, at least until the next Google Blog update pops up in their inbox. But as this insightful article points out, there are less conspicuous opportunities that Google Instant has created, such as the potential for purchasing incomplete keywords. Since this technology more or less encourages curtailed search terms, there might be promise in buying your desired keyword’s leading syllables. These unfinished terms cost next to nothing and have little competition, for now at least. For example, when the incomplete term ‘elec’ is Google Instantfied, ads are generated for ‘election results.’ But Google, I was trying to find an electrician! You know nothing about me! Alas, Gary the electrician can get the upper hand on his competitors by buying this incomplete term and revealing himself sooner; and Google and I can continue our dysfunctional relationship for the time being.

Despite garnering so much attention and worry, Google Instant was probably just a geeky gimmick to create a little buzz and keep the monolith at the top of the search world. As search engine marketers, we must be malleable and adapt to Google’s caprices. Furthermore, we must use our internet savvy to find the subtleties that affect our practice. Google Instant definitely feeds on laziness, but I believe that laziness is just a wrongfully derogatory word for efficiency.

– Kenneth Hurta