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SEARCH: Google Instant: what does it mean for B2B marketers?

This week's launch of Google Instant has caused a stir among many B2B marketers as they wonder how it will affect their SEO strategies.

The search marketing giant calls its latest development '€˜search-before-you-type' as it takes what you have begun to type and predicts the rest while streaming results for the predictions.

While Google is marketing the new service as a huge time saver, in its blog on Wednesday Sep 8 it said, "We estimate that we'll save our users 11 hours with each passing second." Richard Robinson, industry head for B2B at Google, highlights the positive impact on businesses. He said, "Google Instant was designed to help users build queries that return results more closely tailored to their needs. Therefore, the quality of the clicks may improve, leading to better conversion rates."

However, Adrian Bold, head of search at Impact Media warns SMEs are likely to lose out to more established competitors in the new search function saying, "In organic search, the strong just got stronger." He attributes this to the fact people will be guided to their destination quicker with Google Instant, meaning bigger companies with larger budgets to spend on keyword research and marketing will get better results.

Bold highlights the greater importance thrust upon keywords thanks to Google Instant. Something Rosie Brooker, head of search for Equi Media agrees with. She said, "As Google's suggestions impact the results that are being displayed, the more likely you are to see search results for a head term. Therefore the importance of being in the top five is also ever more pressing to gain those make or break impressions."

Jon Holloway, chief digital officer at communication agency Hurricane, suggests SMEs should not worry about competing with bigger brands on organic search results but they should "concentrate on content, in multiple formats and taking a stance that is defendable not going toe to toe, with the so called '€˜bigger brands' or they will lose every time."