Google just released Google Instant a couple weeks ago, and already they’re rolling out new features. Things move pretty quickly at the house of Google, I guess. While most of us are still trying to figure out how Google Instant impacts SEO, they’ve moved forward with a rollout of the Instant feature to other search verticals. Like video.
That’s right. Google Instant now works on Video searches. Woo-hoo! Well, we should temper that excitement a bit, at least until one of us sees it live and in the wild. Because I’m still not seeing it, and neither are the rest of the ReelSEO staff. But Google is announcing it anyway, which probably means we’ll see it sometime today.
Instant is actually now rolling out to all the filters on the left of the results page–Google seems to be calling them “search features,” which strikes me as an overly confusing term. That means you can use Instant for News searches, Video searches, Blog searches, and more. If you already love Google Instant, then this news is reason to jump and shout for joy. If you already hate Google Instant… well, then I guess things just went from bad to worse. And there’s probably no reason for you to be optimistic that Instant is a short-term fad–the fact that they’re rolling it out to all the other filters means it’s not going away anytime soon (unless you just click the blue option to turn it off).
The other big news with Google Instant is the addition of keyboard shortcut support. (I’ll be honest, I thought this was already in place, and feel certain I’ve been using it for days, but the fact that Google is “announcing” it in this video makes me think maybe I’m crazy). You can now use your arrow keys to jump down through the various search query suggestions that show up underneath the search box as you type–and cycling through the various options for queries will change the Instant results below. Pretty cool. Maybe this is a personal preference, but I tend to be a very big fan of keyboard shortcuts, and they almost always make things faster.
Here’s Google’s video announcement:
So… what does this mean for your video seo efforts? I have no idea. Mostly because it’s not turned on for me yet, so I’m not able to play around with it. But I tend to think that the actual search results won’t change much at all–as Matt Cutts said a few weeks ago. If you used to rank #1 for “skateboarding watermelon stunt,” you probably still will. But the behavior of searchers is what will change. How many people will type that long of a query moving forward? Does Google Instant interrupt searchers by offering suggested endings to what they’re typing? Yes. Does it show them results before they’re done typing? Yes. Does this mean some people might not find my video anymore? Probably.
But it should also mean that some people who didn’t find it previously will do so now. People looking for skateboarding/watermelon stunt videos will not likely have to type the whole thing in order to find your video, because Google will probably offer it as a suggested query ending while the user is halfway through typing the word “watermelon.” Let’s also not forget the hordes of potential viewers who search directly on YouTube instead of using Google. They’re not getting “Instant” results yet. But they probably will, since YouTube has now hired the kid that built his own YouTube Instant two weeks ago.
I’ll try to get back to this post and update it once I see Instant going live for Video search–if you’re seeing it already, please let us know what you think in the comments below.