What does Google instant mean for your PR or SEO campaign?

Technical PR and online optimisationPeople often tell me that Google makes changes all the time and as long as your focus on doing the basics well, you will ride most of them out. Fair enough, I say, as long as Google is changing what it does in relation to the users search term. What if it’s actually changing the search term that the user types?

Google Instant is going to offer live search results. So, let’s say you are typing the search term ‘engineering processes’. When you get as far as just typing in ‘engineering’ it will have already generated ‘instant’ search results for you. In this case they are Wikipedia, Engineering.com and The University of Cambridge. When you get as far as ‘Engineering pr’ it will have generated an entry for my own Web site, Stone Junction.co.uk as well as two entries for the Web site of a levelling instruments company called PR Engineering. By the time you have finished typing ‘engineering processes’ it finally turns up EngineersEdge.com, eFunda and Wikipedia again (a different entry this time).

So what? Engineers are single minded, focussed and noble beasts who will continue typing the long tail search term ‘SCADA in the pharmaceutical industry – Sussex’ until they get to the end right? We are logical after all?

Engineers - just like everyone else in technical PR terms...Hmmm...Wrong. Engineers are just like everyone else. Show us a little shiny bauble and we stop to look at it and coo. Why do you think most applications are over-engineered to cope with problems that don’t yet exist?

So, the engineer typing in the search term will probably get as far as SCADA and think to himself, ‘there’s a bunch of clearly SCADA related Web sites, they must be what I’m looking for’.

As a result, you need to think more than ever about optimising for short tail search terms, which is damn hard I know. Contextual search and LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation) may become even more important as a result. The embedded links in your press releases and your Blog will now be even more important.

So, next time someone tells you not to worry about Google, you know what to say; ‘people like shiny things and we want to be damn shiny, thanks’.

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Richard Stone - Stone Junction

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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