SEO Lives On Despite Google Instant

Google Instant launched today and it’s very cool and I find it really quite amazing that Google can return results that fast. However, is it the death of SEO like Steve Rubel suggests? Absolutely not.

I have just a few thoughts about Google Instant I wanted to share with you today.

First of all I find it really really REALLY annoying. Go to and start a search. Instantly you go from the nice main page with the search box in the middle of the screen and all that nice whitespace stretching as far as the eye can see to a search page that’s doing the jiggy as you type. Oh and where did that search box go? Oh, there it is up a the top of the page. This is a massive usability faux pas in my opinion. I’m expecting my mom to call any minute now and ask why her Google broke.

Secondly I believe a huge proportion of people look at their keyboards while typing so Google Instant isn’t helping them at all. In fact, they’re better off because they’re not distracted with the screen boppin all over the place.

The third thing I was thinking about based on a tweet from @Dixon_Jones is that Google Instant could shorten the tail and lengthen the head. The idea here is that Google may be able to head people off at the pass after they’ve typed the second word of their search and before they’ve typed the third word of the search for example. This is an interesting idea but it would only work for people that look a their keyboards and look up after every word to make sure it’s right. I really don’t see people being able to type a 3 word query and while doing that comprehend the changing search results and see what they want while typing. Either way this will be proven or not in the coming days as we see the data in analytics. I doubt this will actually happen though. The long long tail queries are typically so specific that the results along the way will not be helpful to the user. More likely this may affect torso queries more.

So Google Instant is an impressive display of computing power and for me that’s about where it it ends.

SEO and Project Management

Can any of you tell me the number one reason that an SEO campaign fails? That’s right – lack of implementation. There are a variety of reasons that SEO recommendations don’t get implemented but the big two are client resources and poor project management.

Project management for SEO must be approached from two sides. The client has to have point person that controls the campaign in-house and the SEO company must also have an account manager that keeps the client on track. Having only one half of this equation will end in implementation failure. You can have the best plan in the world but if the SEO manager and the in-house leader don’t champion that plan together nothing will happen.

Here’s a very simple strategy for you to follow. Yeah, it seems kind of ridiculous that we have to be reminded of this but I know I need to be reminded on a regular basis.

  1. Define your overall SEO campaign
  2. Break that campaign into digestible bite size pieces
  3. Plan out specific deliverables in 90 day chunks
  4. Set specific dates for those deliverables
  5. Set a weekly call with client and account managers
  6. Document progress

The key part of that list is documentation. You can be doing a great job of increasing search engine rankings for your client but if they don’t know what you’re doing and when there is still ample opportunity for the client to be dissatisfied. You may be doing everything in your plan and executing on time so why not tell your clients and get another opportunity to impress them?

Project management for SEO is relationship, execution and documentation. Don’t forget it.