Google Instant. SEO is dead.

Yes, I’m sick of hearing about it too.

But, Greg Boser alerted me via Twitter today that TechCrunch had made a blog post that showed a clear misunderstanding of Google Instant in regards to SEO:

“SEO (Search engine optimization) will change as well. Sites will need to optimize for particular letter combinations, not just entire keywords. It will be interesting to see whether results get spammed or if Google will gain the upperhand in this constant cat and mouse game.” – Source

This “advice” spurred me to tweet:

“SEO is not dead… mainstream media’s understanding of it was simply never alive.”

So in an effort to educate TechCrunch and possibly correct the misinformation they provided to their readers…

**Sites do not need to optimize for letter combinations, because Google Instant is not providing search results for letter combinations.**

They are merely guessing what you are typing in and showing the results for the FULL KEYWORD they believe you are eventually going to enter.

If you’re attempting to search for “pneumonia”, they are not going to give you results for “pne” once you type in three letters. They are going to guess you are typing “pneumonia” and show you the results for “pneumonia” before you finish typing it.

It’s also why Steve Rubel is wrong when he says:

“Google Instant means no one will see the same web anymore, making optimizing it virtually impossible.” – Source

No Steve, that was the hype with Personalized Search. Everyone typing in “pne” will get results for “pneumonia” if we’re talking solely about Google Instant. The “Instant” results may vary from the traditional Google ones… but everyone using Instant, from what we can tell, gets the same “Instant results.” And SEO (and by that I mean both technical SEO and marketing SEO) is still how you get your website to the top of both.

The drop down of suggestions while you’re typing a keyword into the search bar is nothing new… Google’s Autocomplete feature has been around for a while.

All that has changed is that Google has launched a shiny new feature that changes the fact that you need to type the ENTIRE search term in and hit the enter button to get results. Assuming you don’t look at the keyboard when typing and type the whole search term in anyway.

Please guys… leave explaining SEO to people who actually understand SEO. #justsayin

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