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30% of companies are using local search as a marketing tool, while a further 21% plan to do so in future, according to Econsultancy's latest UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report.
The report, based on an online survey of more than 600 client-side digital marketers and agencies, was produced in association with Guava.
Here are a few highlights from the report...
Since Google launched Instant, there have been numerous claims that Instant has a bias towards brands. In October, for instance, Siddharth Shah of Efficient Frontier Insights observed that "of the 26 letters in the alphabet, 21 have brands as the first suggestions."
Based on this, he suggested that Google Instant is "going to make brand key words more expensive, increase impression volumes by 30% - 40%."
Sam Crocker, one of our lead SEOs in London has been researching what proportion of searchers are seeing Google Instant. This has a potentially significant impact on the various research being published on how Instant affects average query length. Here's what he has found:
It would have been easy for Google Analytics to reveal how much traffic Google Instant is driving, but Google seems to be keeping this information under wraps.
Google Instant certainly ranks as one of the biggest user experience changes Google has implemented since it launched Google search more than a decade ago. And for that reason, it has attracted a lot of press attention, and sparked a significant amount of conversation among search experts.
But is Google Instant really little more than a convenient distraction that masks Google's flaws? Some are essentially arguing just that.
As an SEO, my fear is that some cunning paid search guru is going to steal my clients' business before searchers get to my handiwork. So now I have to optimise earlier words. The early word gets the worm?
What this means is targeting across the keystrokes in linear fashion from first letter until the search is either complete or a relevant result set presented. With everyone flapping about the who's and why's of Google Instant there are some of us thinking about how to game the system.
Google Instant is designed to make search faster and easier for users, but what effect will it have on search marketing?
I've been asking a number of search experts for their predictions on the impact of Google Instant and what marketers can do to adapt to the changes...
Today Google unveiled a new product called Google Instant, which predicts users' search queries and delivers results as they're typing. The news immediately got people talking. While it will make search faster, not everyone is excited about this new feature. Some, in fact, are worried it will kill SEO and harm paid search advertising results.
Google, however, knows better than to kill off its cash cow with a new consumer friendly feature. Rumors of Google Instant killing the art of SEO are greatly exaggerated.