Paul Price

Google: The Sentence Finisher

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Google instant search: what is it and how will it affect local advertising?  If you have never seen "The Sentence Finisher" episode of Seinfeld then you have to watch this clip: 


Generally speaking, sentence finishers are frustrating and annoying.  However, in some situations they can be very helpful.  As a software developer I can get a lot of mileage out of "auto-completion" tools that predict what I am trying to type, jog my memory, and even provide instant documentation.  When used properly, these tools can dramatically increase my productivity.

The nerds at Google and other search engines have been providing auto-complete for some time now. You start typing a search query, and they give you a list of completion candidates ordered by "most likely" candidate.  Now, the new "Instant" feature not only guesses your next move, but also instantly shows you the results.  For example, if you type "Billy" then you get the following instant results:

Billy The Kid


Notice that Google pulls up images, natural search results, and paid campaigns without ever clicking search or hitting enter.  How will this affect local internet marketing?  According to Google, you should not have to change your SEO strategy to account for instant search.  As for SEM, you should not make any drastic changes.  As usual you should constantly test, measure, adjust and repeat.  The most likely outcome, according to AdAge, is an increase in impressions.

If local internet marketing—including paid search and optimization—is not a part of your current strategy, then you probably need some help. Check out Balihoo's ad builder software and local marketing automation tools for just the help you are looking for.

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