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Google Instant Search for Marketing

posted 15 Sept 2010, 06:30 by Mpelembe   [ updated 15 Sept 2010, 06:32 ]

Google recently introduced their "Instant Search" feature
which starts to populate search results the instant you
start typing into the search box. At the same time, Google
suggests alternate search terms as you type to help narrow
your search without forcing you to enter entire search

The main idea behind this new feature is to save users a few
seconds on each search and cut down on misspellings for
search terms, business names or product names. Users may not
notice much difference in their overall experience, however,
for small businesses and online entrepreneurs, this new
search method carries a few interesting ramifications.

Since Google clearly ranks as the "900 lb. Gorilla" of the
online marketing world, acting as de facto gateway to the
Web for millions, any change to their system makes
businesses nervous. Many have expressed concern that this
latest change will force users of Google's AdWords program,
the search giant's lucrative pay-per-click marketing arm, to
pay for more expensive keywords.

They reason that since the most popular search terms appear
in the search box first, and that most people will opt to
accept Google suggestions, those most popular searches will
carry the highest click prices. In other words, businesses
that depend on Google to show their ads fear that Google
will force them to pay more money by recommending more
expensive keyword searches.

I disagree.

The suggested search term feature actually appeared on
Google quite a while ago, and all that's really changed is
Google starts to display the actual search results AS you
type. With the old 2-step process, Google made suggestions
as you typed and then you clicked the search button to see
the search results.

Instant Search just creates a FAST way to see the results
for different search variations without forcing you to click
the button each time to see those results. This process makes
it simple to see the results, change your mind, and not wait
for the results each time you change the phrase.

My experience shows that most people always start with a
broad search and then narrow it by including more
descriptive terms (often called "long-tail" keywords) to
better find what they want. This new process won't change

In fact, it will give people more chances to refine their
searches on-the-fly by providing Google more details of what
they want. Instead of posing a threat, I believe this new
Instant Search feature creates an opportunity for any
business to perform high-speed market research to look for
possible opportunities and trouble spots.

The following four steps will help any small business use
Google's new feature for instant results.

1. Go to Google and search for your business as if you were
a consumer.

2. Make a note of the keyword suggestions Google offers as
you type.

3. See if those suggestions give you any ideas for your own
marketing (since they should represent the most popular

4. Note which competitors show up and where you appear in
relation to them.

These 4 simple steps make a great barometer for taking a
read on your local market, fast.

Who appears consistently?

Who shows up hit-and-miss or every once in a while?

Who shows up in Google Maps?

If your competitors show up and you don't, you've got some
work to do!

Bottom line: as a small business, use Google's new Instant
Search to quickly get the big picture when it comes to your
business, industry, and local competition.

About the Author:

"Small Business Marketing Weekly" helps small business owners
understand HOW to use the web to make more sales, increase
revenue, and get more customers.

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