Business Consultant – Are long tail keywords dead? (Google Instant)

So Google recently launched Google Instant which is supposed to be a new way for Googlers to use this search engine to find what they are looking for faster.  If you haven’t heard about this and you are in the internet marking world then you need to read this ASAP!

Business Marketing

Here is what Google has to say about this new service:

Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.

The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.


Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.

Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.

Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.

Source: Google Instant

Here is the problem.  Lets compare two search terms:

business plan outline (short – highly competitive – non targeted)
business plan outline for restaurants (long tail – low competition – very specific)

How is this a problem?  Well if you are a smart internet marketer you would have started your optimization strategy around long tail keywords as they rank faster and convert better.  This all means less work but more money.  Now with Google Instant your long tail keyword may never be found!

If you go to Google right now and type in the above search word by word stopping after each word you’ll notice that Google is now giving you results as you type.  They are trying to drive you to a site as quickly as possible.  This means that the specific niche site with the business plan specifically for a restaurant may never be reached if Google has their way.

I’m just beginning my testing to see how this will effect my current marketing strategies.  I’d like to know if anyone else has the same concerns as me?  Leave me a response so we can figure out how to stay ahead of the curve here!

Related Post

Roger Bryan
Roger is the Founder at Enfusen. He was #40 on Entrepreneur Magazines Most Influential Digital Marketers in 2016. His past companies have made INC Magazines Fastest Growing Companies in 2011, 2012, & 2013.

2 comments. Leave new

I don’t think it will be all bad. Much like when google started bolding the search term within the results, we just have to adjust. So using the example above, after the word “outline” google wants to use “template”. After “for” it uses “format” and then “a restaurant”. So, long tailed, you change the title to “business plan outline for a restaurant” and meta tag / desc (for WP regular tags) “business plan outline template” , “business plan outline format” , “business plan outline for restaurants” . This is still new, so my testing isn’t complete, but I think it should work.

I agree with most of what you are saying. The problem then lies with ‘business pl….’ by the time you get the ‘pl’ out you will see the results for the SBA site for business plans. I like this example because I’m just getting ready to add an entire business plan section to my site and launch a new SEO campaign for it.

Sample Keywords (I was going to use)
Online Bookstore Business Plan
How to write a business plan for an online bookstore
Bookstore Business Plan (may still be good)
Business Plan Template (will be hard to rank either way)

I think this change is very advantageous for large sites like the SBA or wiki. I think it is going to hurt the little niche guy though.

I agree there needs be a lot of testing done. From the start though I don’t like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.