Herding the Flock: Google Instant Anoints Lucky Brands
Data is starting to roll in on the effects of Google’s elegant UI/SERPs adaptation Google Instant. The concept of SERPs that configure as users type is not new, but it appears big G’ has laid claim to mass paradigm busting. Marketing chatter ranges from ridiculously hyperbolic to ho-hum with good reason. Instant instantly appoints already-dominant brands’ godly brand-status & likely makes growing brand awareness more expensive for everyone else.
Even aside from Instant’s potential to affect traffic, just think of the incredible subliminal branding that takes place as users type there searches out. Whether a user is searching for “basketball,” “botany” or “blintzes,” the keyword “Best Buy” flashes past with nary a flicker. Google has anointed Best Buy’s marketing manager Pope of the “b” SERPs. Read on for more SERP samples that show it’s no easy task to decode Google Instant’s black box mystical brand signals…
Keep in mind that Google’s suggestions and pre-type predictions are, at minimum, IP (geographical) sensitive and subject to other personalized context for individual users. We’ve studied suggestions from numerous IP addresses from around America, accessed from various users’ browsers, with and without gathered web history, clean OS/Browser installation from new IP addresses and logged both and out of Google services. The Google Suggest REST API, the best insight as to suggestions Google is willing to pony up to Webmasters, does not depersonalize by any URL variable and is also IP sensitive. Gee, thanks Google.
That said, some suggestions, by their very semantic nature, are less personalized than others. The keyword “low quality” is obviously not as commonly associated with geo-specific queries. Here’s a look at the GoogleSuggest API.
The word “first” is often queried with geographic clarifying words. Note that “First Avenue” is a nightclub, just miles from downtown St. Paul and FirstMark Services is [considered by Google to be] a brand in Nebraska.