What does Google Instant mean for SEO ?

With the launch of this new « search enhancement », SEOs all over the world are trying to guess what is to be changed for their tactics, for search engine optimisation as a whole and for the companies contracting them. But what is Google Instant anyway ?

According to Google, this is a new search feature showing results while you are still typing. Moreover, it has the ability to make smarter prediction on the long tailed keywords, so even if you are looking for a particular name for example, you might find other interesting results that fancy your search query. This is a major change for those searching online information, but how this will affect search engine optimisation companies that make a living from SEO ?
Recent tweets and blog posts show that internet marketers and SEO folks all over the world are worried about this change, some even predicting the death of search engine optimisation and online marketing, as they were until this point. However the tech from Google say although the search engine’s interface has changed, the entire algorithm that decides most relevant results is still the same.

A thing that will surely change is the impressions a site gets on paid results. As you probably know, an impression counts only if the search results are displayed for three seconds or more, therefore there will be lots of folks receiving way more impressions than before, but the problem remains on the CTR : will it lower ? This only time will tell.

Another interesting point is the importance of long tail keywords. Ranking higher for those keywords might only mean good thing while people will type in the search box until they see the results they want. So yes, this should be a major aspect any SEO should keep an eye upon.

What is interesting about this new feature is that even the developers at Google do not really know in what manner it will affect the advertisers going with paid results while “It’s possible that this feature may increase or decrease your overall impression levels.” So up or down ? No one knows and how could regular guys know this while even Google has no perfect picture about it ?