Update to How Impressions are Counted due to Launch of Google Instant

Google Instant was debuted today. Google Instant is a facet of predictive search. As such the definition of an impression has changed and Click Through Rates (CTR) may be affected positively or negatively because of it.

With Google Instant, an impression is counted if a user:

  • Takes an action to choose a query (for example, presses the Enter key or clicks the Search button),
  • clicks a link on the results page, or
  • stops typing for three or more seconds.

It’s possible that Google Instant may increase or decrease your accounts overall impression levels. However, Google Instant may ultimately improve the quality of your clicks since it helps users’ type queries that more directly connect them with the answers they need.

Therefore the new definition of Impression according to Google is:

The “Impr” located on your reporting statistics refers to the number of “impressions” for your ad. In most cases, an AdWords ad impression is counted when an ad is displayed on Google or the Google Network.

However, when someone searches on Google using Google Instant, ad impressions are measured differently.

When someone uses Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:

  • The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter or selecting one of the predicted queries.
  • The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.