Google Instant is a new search tool Google is introducing that proactively suggests search terms and also continually refreshes the search results for each suggested term as you type. Both the predicted query and the search results change ‘on-the-fly’ as you enter the search.
The best way to understand Google Instant is to see it in action http://www.google.com/webhp?sclient=psy. Google Instant is already starting to roll-out to users on Google domains in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia.
Will Google Instant affect SEO within the recruitment industry?
The search rankings themselves will not change so the on and off-site process of SEO will remain as it is today. However, there is one area of great opportunity and potential threat posed by Google Instant…
Fundamentally, Google Instant will mean that new suggestions are given to candidates meaning they might search using a term they were not otherwise going to use. This might mean that the search term is simpler or shorter than the one they had planned. For example, they take the quick route and search for “jobs in IT” rather “jobs in IT analysis”. This makes recruitment SEO much harder as work will gravitate towards fewer, generalist terms that have less relevance, more competition and are harder to rank for.
However, the flow might go the other way and candidates might choose to use more detailed (long-tail) searches because it has been made easier to do. For example, the prompted suggestions avoids having to type the full search term and makes “jobs in IT structured analysis” rather than “jobs in IT” a much easier search to do. This opens up a new world of opportunity for SEO as job boards seize the opportunity to move towards specialist, more detailed (long-tail) search terms.
It’s a difficult one to call but our research at Enhance Media (the largest piece of online recruitment research in the world) suggests that the average length of recruitment based search terms is growing. Google’s own generalist research and their recruitment market research agree with our findings. If we are both right then job boards have a huge opportunity to move above competitors as search queries change and more detailed (long-tail) searches become the norm. This change will give greater opportunities to industry, sector or role specific job boards which are naturally geared towards long-tail searches.
Online recruitment SEO planning will also change as companies choosing what terms they try to rank for will no longer be able to use the current tools available but will have to factor in Google Instant suggested search terms. That opens a world of opportunity for job boards to out-rank their competitors using new analysis methods for campaign planning. Once again, we own the largest piece of online recruitment research in the world and have unique insight into SEO campaign planning.
By Giles Guest, Director, Enhance Media