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Google Instant Appears to Change Search Behavior by Users

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November 10, 2010

Google Instant Appears to Change Search Behavior by Users

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Google (News - Alert) Instant has apparently changed search behavior as well as ad impressions, according to an analysis by Marin Software.

Gary Kim, writing in Mobile Marketing and Technology, said that users seem to have increased their number of searches and clicks.

In addition, user search preferences also seem to have changed, in favor of short searches, which saw an increase in impressions and clicks, Marin Software said.

The 9.3 percent jump in ad impressions could be due to more searches, or it could also be related to users interacting with predicted search results, or pausing to review interim search results while they refine a longer search query, according to the news reports.

Click volumes also increased by 5.6 percent. Users are responding to interim ads while they’re still typing or refining search queries, according to MM&T (News - Alert).

Users are now more engaged with the search page and search results. This change in user behavior is a direct consequence of how Google Instant has changed a user’s search experience, explained Marin Software.

The cost per click for exact and phrase-match terms decreased significantly when compared to broad-match terms, suggesting that search marketers should pay increased attention to refining their match types with Google Instant, Marin Software added.

When users have the ability to target and modify searches “on the fly,” it appears they respond by narrowing their search parameters, according to MM&T.

In addition, Google Instant seems to have boosted ad impressions and clicks, increased cost slightly while dropping cost-per-click, according to the study.

Marin Software also found that impressions for paid search ads increased by more than 9 percent while clicks increased by more than 5 percent through the first two weeks of Instant’s existence on

While broad-match terms still command about 70 percent of all impressions and about 47 percent of all clicks, exact-match and phrase-match terms gained ground after Google Instant was launched, according to the study.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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