Google Instant ~ An SEO Checklist

I’ve been monitoring the blogosphere this week, for the latest developments on Google Instant—Google’s new search enhancement that shows results as you type. For me, the following resources provided the most actionable tips, as you start updating your evolving SEO strategy.

I’ve compiled the following checklist from the cited resources and will continue updating it, as I come across additional tips. In the comments, please feel free to add any optimization tips or resources for Google Instant that you find helpful.

Importantly, these tips show me that SEO is alive and kicking. What’s your take?

Use Google Suggest for keyword research.

Target terms from predictive search results.

  • “The term that appears first is probably the most common search result, and the one you should consider targeting” (from MarketingProfs).

Write short, compelling page titles.

  • “Your page titles are going to need to be even more compelling than before. You need to not only attract the searcher to your listing, but you have to get them to commit to the search query. That’s going to take a lot of engagement on your part” (from MarketingPilgrim).
  • “Keep your copy brief, to the point, and able to grab their attention. If a searcher can’t scan and find what they are seeking, they are only one keystroke away from an entire new search results page of options.” (from MarketingProfs)
  • “Your page title and meta descriptions need to be structured as an ad – so that it catch people’s attention and entice them to click through” (from the blog).

Think about placement of your keywords.

  • “Getting primary keywords at the front of page title tags might need to become a bigger priority now.” — Dustin Williams, SEO Manager (from the blog).

Add a modifier before the main key phrase.

  • “To make the search listing easier to get, add a modifier to the main key phrase” (from the blog).

Focus on just singular terms.

  • …“you are in the real estate industry, for example…you no longer need to fight to rank on terms like Myrtle Beach Homes, or Myrtle Beach Houses. You can now focus on just Myrtle Beach Home and other singular terms. If you are some of the early adopters to these new sets of keywords, you will be able to get established on the singular terms before others realize the change” (from 210 Consulting).

Focus on typos.

  • “So, while it may seem a little crazy to do, focusing once in a while on typo keywords could bring you massive amounts of traffic with Google Instant” (from 210 Consulting).

Don’t forget the longtail.

  • Though “it seems that Google is pushing folks towards more profitable “head” terms,” over the long haul people will still refine their search, via long tail terms (from
  • …“people will spend more time refining keywords and ultimately focusing more on long tail keywords. Essentially, Google Instant will mean more searches for multi-word search phrases than before” (from HubSpot).
  • “You really do need to take a close look at what long tail keywords Google Instant suggests. Make sure you have a page ranked for all the important variations. Show up, no matter what final keyword string the searcher commits to” (from MarketingPilgrim).

Use LDA-related queries.

Use Google Places for localization.

  • “Based on my location via Internet connection (since I don’t use any check-in services), Google was doing real time searching where I am, automatically. If you’re not registered with Google Places, now you’re losing even more business. Get registered and set up right now.” (from Christopher S. Penn).

Update content to reflect new titles and meta descriptions.

  • “Consider altering your content to reflect new, condensed titles and meta description” (from

Keep content fresh.

  • “It will certainly make it even more important to have current information on the site.” — Rick Hardman, Sr. SEO Specialist (from the blog).
  • “While long tail keywords are now even more important, the changes Google made today only reinforce that to be found by qualified visitors online, you need to create and publish relevant content that is valuable and solves the problems of your prospects and customers” (from HubSpot).

Improve the load-time time for your site.

  • With Google setting new precedents in a fast user experience, the bar has been raised for all sites. Even more than before, “your search strategy should include considerations for ongoing load-time and performance tests to ensure the page consistently loads in a snap” (from MarketingProfs).

About This Blog: Copyright Information

Contacting the Author: Content for a Convergent World – Peg Mulligan’s Blog

4 thoughts on “Google Instant ~ An SEO Checklist

    • Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for dropping by, and for your excellent insights, at the 210 Consulting Blog.

      One of the most interesting parts of the research was comparing what analysts think about the long tail. Some like you, predict that people will no longer take the time to type in longer terms, like before…Others predict that people will ignore Google Instant’s recommendations and that they will continue typing, until they see the exact result they want…making the long-tail as important as ever, if more so.

      As Matt Cutts pointed out in his post, Thoughts on Google Instant, this change will likely impact users’ search behavior, and time will tell, how it all shakes out. My own feeling is that some people will be more comfortable refining the query by iteratively selecting Google’s suggestions, and there will be others who will continue to refine the query, using more initial words in the search box…I wonder if there will be a difference between novice and more advanced searchers’ behaviors?

      Thanks again for your thoughts and post. It will be interesting to follow how it all unfolds.


  1. Hi Peg

    It’s interesting because there is so much stuff hidden within Google that is amazing. It’s good to know how to use these applications for my own benefit. This is the first I heard about Google Instant and it sounds good. Google keeps adding stuff to their treasure chest.

    • Hi Eugene,
      I agree…It’s hard to keep up, with so many innovations…SEO is especially fast-paced and always changing…Have you tried searching with Google Instant? or have you turned the new feature off? It bothered me at first, but now I don’t even think about the change…

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