How is Google Instant performing?

Most site owners and a good many searchers will be aware of the changes to the way search results are displayed since Google Instant was launched a few months ago.

It is possible to disable google instant search (it defaults to on) but how many searchers will either know or realise they can. It may just be that they won’t want to disable google instant, finding the results useful and the benefits that Google outlined to their liking.

So, what effect is Google Instant having on search results

In an effort to answer some of the questions surrounding the above, setup in Google Analytics, separate profiles on two relatively high volume visitor sites with a filter to monitor where in the entered search term the visitor took action and either chose the term suggested by the Google Instant dropdown or clicked a displayed site link before full search term entered and the volume of search it effected.

Running for a couple of months until the middle end of November 2010 the initial indications were that about 20% of clickthroughs from search actions were initiated before the full or intended search terms were entered.

Just how many of these were the actual terms the search had in mind or were impulse clicks from the changing instant display is difficult to know.

However, over the two months since first analysis, there has been a very small average increase to 22%. Whether that will stabilise or not is yet to be seen but searchers are being influenced by the displayed Google Instant results.

Update: Addition of interview with Bruce Clay and his take on Google Instant and it’s possible effect on SEO.

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