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.

Far from making SEO irrelevant; Google Instant allows us to use the next tool in our SEO arsenal. This might be linear targeting of search results.

As someone types in a search phrase there is a high chance they may never
complete the phrase. The search results presented may be good enough
for the searcher to click on a listing or an advert. This means SEOs and paid search
advertisers can now target the words that form the search in order
of typing and not just the phrase itself.

For example, if I want to type ‘sports spread betting’ I can start pecking at the keyboard and the results flow into the screen.

At ‘s’ I get ‘sky’ suggested and shown in the result set.

At ‘sp’ sports direct is suggested and shown.

‘Sports’ is the next change in suggestions but not the result set shown.

This is because it was already showing the results for ‘sports’.

Add a space and the suggestion changes again.

At ‘sports s’ more suggestions so I have another phrase to target. Each target it the one that gets preference in the suggestion tool being the first suggested phrase. (So maybe this gets called preferential term targeting?)

Sports s

Finally safety for my client at ‘sports sp’ with a result set of sports spread betting companies. As a searcher though, after all those result sets I’m less inclined to scroll.

I’m exhausted from looking at all the choices prior. For the client, being #1 is going to matter more and more on the most relevant searches.

sports sp

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.

So my first target is to advertise next to ‘sky’

My second target is to advertise and optimise my site to ‘sports’.

Spaces now matter though it may take a while to understand how we target them. Maybe a URL …. /sport_/.

It will be a boon for paid search as ‘sky’ and
‘sport’ are great opportunities to get in first now.

It presents challenges for SEO as we have to broaden to a new long tail of shorties.

Winning the linear targeting, or preferential phrase battle is going to be a key new strategy for paid search and SEO in the coming months.